Call us


Message us


Terms & Conditions in plain English


These Terms & Conditions of Residence set out what we offer and what we ask in return.  Summarising what is intended to be a very caring service in legal phraseology is not always easy, and if having read through the following any points remain unclear, please ask.


Nightingales Nightingale Retirement Care Ltd who own and operate Nettlestead and Priors Mead Retirement Homes, also referred to in this agreement as ‘we’, ‘our’ or ‘us’.
Resident The person who will be taking up residence in one of our Homes.
Advocate The next-of-kin or a person authorised by the Resident to act on their behalf, either by informal arrangement or order of a competent court.
Guarantor The person who is guaranteeing payment of all fees due to Nightingales under these Terms & Conditions of Residence.
Home Whichever Nightingale’s retirement home, being Nettlestead or Priors Mead, that the Resident will reside in.
Residents All the people who are resident in the Home, including the Resident, unless otherwise stated.
Notice Advice in writing, unless otherwise specified, of either party’s intention to end this agreement.
Notice Period
The period of time between when either party has given Notice to when the room must be vacated.
Daily Fee The Weekly Fee divided by seven.
Weekly Fee The sum specified in point ii of the Acceptance section of this agreement.
Monthly Fee The Annual Fee divided by 12.
Annual Fee The Daily Fee multiplied by 365.25.

What We Provide

Subject to the provisions of these Terms & Conditions of Residence, Nightingales will provide the Resident with:

  1. Sole use of a single fully furnished bedroom, save for couples preferring to share, that will be a minimum 10m2, is large enough to support their lifestyle, care, treatment and support needs including enabling access for care, treatment and support equipment;
  2. Residents are welcome to personalise their room including its temperature, furnishings and decor;
  3. Space for social, therapeutic, educational and play activities;
  4. Ample light, central heating, hot and cold water;
  5. Three freshly prepared meals a day with at least two choices at each meal;
  6. Tea, coffee, water and other soft drinks as and when required for the Resident and their guests;
  7. Use of all public rooms, bathrooms and gardens;
  8. Regular activities, entertainment and social occasions;
  9. Laundering of their clothes (dry and specialist cleaning excluded);
  10. Regular clean linen;
  11. Regular cleaning of both their room and all public areas;
  12. Sourcing, storing & administering of their medication (the cost of such medication, where not provided free-of-charge by the NHS, will be to the Resident’s account);
  13. Space for a relative or friend to be able to be with the resident at any time;
  14. Personal care including:

Preparing and following a tailored Care Plan;

Liaising with the Resident’s GP and other health-care professionals as necessary;

Following any instructions given by the Resident’s health professionals that are within our ability and making arrangements for specialists (dentists, district nurses, chiropodists etc) to attend when they are not.

Subject to the wishes of the Resident, we will liaise with the Resident’s family on all relevant matters.


Use of Facilities

In the normal course of events the Resident, their friends and family are free to use all facilities offered by Nightingales including the public rooms and gardens.  However, Nightingales may restrict this use where it believes it is not safe or in the interests of our other Residents.

Residents are welcome to journey out alone and at their own risk if they wish to do so, but we ask that they keep us informed of their whereabouts.  Where the Resident’s GP or Advocate has advised us that the Resident should not be allowed out unsupervised we will use reasonable endeavours to ensure this does not happen.  However, as we cater to a more able and independent group of residents than many homes, without unreasonably restricting our other Residents’ freedom this is not always possible.  Nightingales cannot, therefore, accept any responsibility if the Resident inadvertently leaves the Home.



Visitors are welcome at any time and may join the Resident for meals by arrangement.


Privacy & Confidentiality

Our employees follow strict guidelines regarding maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of all our Residents and of their family and guests.


Personal Possessions & Valuables

We encourage our Residents to bring with them their own small items of furniture and other possessions to personalise their room, and will be happy to assist in any way we can to make them feel at home.  However, we are required to ensure that such items do not create a risk for our Residents or anyone visiting the Home and would therefore appreciate you consulting us first.  Regrettably, only new electrical items are allowed.



To avoid Residents’ clothing being inadvertently misplaced or damaged we ask that all items are clearly marked with their name, which we will be happy to do on their behalf, and should ideally be suitable for machine washing.   We will be happy to make arrangements for any items in need of specialist cleaning on request and at the Resident’s expense.



Nightingales maintains all insurances required by law.  As this tends to change from time to time we do not specify the limits in this agreement.  Please ask if you would like details.

Whilst our insurance covers Residents’ personal effects, subject to a maximum value for any one item of £1,000, we feel the move to residential care is no reason for the Resident to give up their more treasured possessions.  Accordingly, on written request, we will be happy to ask our insurers to cover for items in excess of this amount and will confirm in writing when this is possible.  However, we do recommend that items of significant value, or that are easily lost, are not brought into the home.

In order that we may keep an eye on our Residents’ possessions we do ask that we are kept informed whenever personal items are either brought in or removed from the Home.  We regret that our insurance will only cover items that have been listed on our inventory of Residents’ belongings.

Whilst we understand that our Residents may like to keep small amounts of cash in their rooms, we regret that we cannot accept responsibility for this. However, we are very happy to keep a cash float for any Residents in the office which can be used to pay for small items of expenditure.  Please speak to the Manager who will be happy to arrange this.

Nightingales does not accept responsibility for any uninsured losses.



Where the Resident is able and has their GP’s approval to do so, they are welcome to hold and administer their own medication subject to keeping us fully informed and complying with any reasonable requests we may make regarding their security and proof of administering.  Alternatively, we will be happy to take responsibility for the sourcing, storage, administration and disposal of all medication.



For the comfort and safety of everyone, the Home is a non-smoking establishment.



Our Residents are welcome to consume alcohol in reasonable amounts, unless otherwise advised by their GP.


Trial Period

The move to residential care often follows some sort of a crisis, and whilst we do our best to learn about our potential Residents and help them to learn about us, it is not always possible to tell in advance how well they will settle in.  We therefore treat the first two months as a Trial Period.  In this time we work to ensure the Resident has the opportunity to settle in but where either they or we feel that things are not working out, either party may give to the other seven days written Notice.

In these circumstances, we would work to assist the Resident in finding alternative accommodation including, where the interests of our other Residents are not affected, giving consideration to extending the notice period if requested.



Fees are payable monthly in advance and will be agreed prior to the Resident taking up residence and are based on the type of room they choose.   On admission, the balance of the first month’s Fee should be paid by cheque or cash with all subsequent monthly fees being paid by standing order to credit our account on the first of the month to which they apply.

Rarely, an additional charge may be made if the Resident’s care requirements increase significantly, and where we feel this is appropriate we will discuss the matter with the Resident or their Advocate in advance.

Items of a personal nature may be provided by Nightingales at the request of either the Resident or their family, such as hairdressing, chiropody, newspapers, personal toiletries, the cost of escorting residents to appointments outside the home, for which a charge will be made. Payment of any extras may be made by cheque at your convenience. No charges for extras will be incurred without the prior authorisation of either the Resident or their Advocate.

Fees for the initial part-month are calculated by multiplying the Daily Fee by the number of days remaining in the month, including the day of admission.

To simplify subsequent monthly Fees we average out the effects of long and short months, and leap years.  We do this by multiplying the Daily Fee by 365.25 and then divided this Annual Fee by twelve to give the amount due each month.

Should the Resident wish to pay either bi-annually or annually in advance a discount would be applied which will vary depending on the base rate applicable at the time.  If this is of interest, please ask the Head of Home for details.

If, for any reason, you anticipate you will not be able to pay the Fees on time please let us know.  Unless a prior arrangement has been made in writing we reserve the right to charge statutory interest on all late payments in accordance with the rate then applicable.


Third-Party Contributions

Where part of a resident’s fees are paid by a third party, Nightingales will issue a separate letter making clear:

  • Who the parties are;
  • What the total fee is;
  • What part is paid by each party, and;
  • Where this is for specific parts of the service, which party is paying for what.


Review of Fees

We normally review fees annually in December in line with the Consumer Price Index, but we may review fees at other times if the Resident’s circumstances change, such as moving rooms, increasing care requirements, or in the event of exceptional changes to our costs.  In all events one month’s written Notice will be given.

As we generally only review our fees once a year, this rise applies to all Residents regardless of whether they have been in the home for one month or for the whole year.  However, for those taking up residency close to the review date we will normally be able to provide, on request, an indication of what the next annual rise will be.


Responsibility for Fees

The Resident is responsible for paying the Fees.  As our Residents may chose not to, or may not always be able to deal with their own affairs, we ask that the Resident’s next-of-kin, or other agreed person, acts as Guarantor to jointly and severally guarantee payment of any Fees due from the Resident under these Terms & Conditions of Residence.



On reservation of a room we ask for four week’s Fees by way of deposit against any damage to the room, fixtures or fittings, save for fair wear and tear. Subject to this, and there being no outstanding fees due, the deposit will be returned in full once the room is vacated.


Local Authority Funding

When a resident’s assets drop below a certain level, which varies from time to time, they may become eligible for Local Authority funding.  For further information, please see our Paying for Care leaflet or contact the Advocacy Service, details below.



We appreciate that it is not always possible to foresee when a Resident may need to leave and, whilst we appreciate any notice that can be given, there is no notice period required by the Resident.

We very rarely give notice and will not normally do so unless one of the events specified in the Permanence of Residence section below occurs.  However, we do reserve the right to give notice if some other unforeseen event occurs.  Save for in the event of non-payment of Fees when the Notice period is reduced to seven days, we will always give a minimum of one-month’ notice.

Fees are due to when the Resident’s room is cleared.

Should the Resident need to move to hospital we will keep their room for them.

Once the Resident’s room has been vacated, and after consulting the Resident or their family, we may put in store any items left in the room to facilitate preparing the room for re-letting.

When the Resident leaves we will be happy to assist with packing their belongings, leaving it to them or their family, or arranging to dispose of any unwanted items.  Unless advised otherwise, we will dispose of any items not taken unless we have been requested in writing not to, and alternative arrangements made.


Permanence of Residence

We appreciate that many of our Residents may wish to remain with us for life.  Whenever their needs remain within our capabilities to reasonably care for them, we will continue to do so.  However, we may be required to give Notice should the Resident’s needs change beyond our ability to cope, their needs are not consistent with our CQC registration categories or their presence adversely affects our other Residents’ welfare.   We will always consult with the Resident or their family when this is being considered.


Co-ordinating Care

Our residents will often receive support from a number of different services such as doctors, hospitals, District Nurses, podiatrists.  Unless otherwise advised to the resident in writing, we will take responsibility for co-ordinating all these services.


Confidentiality and Transfer of Confidential Information

By the nature of the service we provide, we may be given confidential information about our residents in order for us to be able to care for them, and conversely we may transfer relevant confidential information to other Health-Care Professionals.  Save for the above, we take steps to ensure confidential information about our residents remains confidential.  Unless advised in writing to the contrary, by signing these Terms & Conditions the Resident, or their Advocate, give us full authority to receive and transfer confidential information as we believe is in the best interests of the Resident.



Whilst we believe that our staff richly deserve all the praise and thanks they get, for the sake of transparency and in view of the vulnerable nature of some of our Residents, they are not permitted to accept gratuities.  Should the Resident, or their family, wish to show their appreciation we would ask that this is done through the Head of Home and for the benefit of all the staff, for which a receipt should be obtained.



Where the Resident is unable to sign these Terms & Conditions of Residence on their own behalf an Advocate may sign for them.  In the event of an Advocate signing, the signature must be independently witnessed by a third party who has first verified, where possible, that the Resident wishes the Advocate to act in this capacity.

Where the Resident is unable to give their informed consent, in accordance with current best practice, their next-of-kin is considered to be their Advocate unless an alternative has been appointed by a competent court.

When an Advocate has signed these Terms & Conditions on the Resident’s behalf, we may take instructions from them regarding the welfare and care of the Resident.

Should the Resident become ill or need to move to hospital we will immediately inform the Advocate and any other family members the Advocate advises we should.

Nightingales reserves the right to refuse any instructions they do not believe are in the best interests of the Resident in which case we will set out our reasons in writing.


Advocacy Service

We recognise that the move to residential care may raise various issues that the resident and their family would appreciate advice on and for which they may prefer to receive that advice from someone independent of the home.  We have therefore arranged for the following independent non-profit public information advisory and advocacy service to be available to our residents:

PO Box 8
M30 9NY

0161 707 1107

Any information given to or advice received from them is strictly confidential and will not be shared with us.



We sincerely hope that you will never feel you have cause to complain but, should you ever have concerns regarding any part of our service, please be assured that we will do all that we can to resolve them.   To this end, please discuss them in the first instance with the Head of Home.

If, for any reasons, you feel your concern has not been adequately resolved, or you would prefer to address your concerns to someone else, please contact:

Nick & Sarah Bruce (Owners)

T. 020 3405 2120 or 020 3405 2121

F. 08700 940118

E. or


If you are unhappy with how we have handled your complaint you may refer it to the Local Government Ombudsman at any time at

You may refer it at any stage to the Care Quality Commission who are responsible for registration of the Homes, although they do not deal with individual complaints.  Their details are:

Care Quality Commission
National Correspondence
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 4PAT. 03000 616161

Call us on 020 8460 2279 for more information