Supporting the Edith Cavell Nurses Trust

Chiswick Nursing Centre’s – Centre Director, Steve Winter was pleased to attend and support the Edith Cavell Nurses Trust at an afternoon tea event held at The House of Lords. Accompanied by Specialist Care Consultant – Sabina Kelly, they heard news of how the Trust has supported nurses throughout the pandemic.

The Chiswick Nursing Centre recognises that qualified nurses are at the heart of its work with older people and younger adults with complex nursing needs and has been a long time supporter of the Trust.

The ethos of the Nursing Centre is focussed on giving back and supporting to the wide range of healthcare professionals who all contribute to the social care and nursing sector.

We can have our cake and eat it

We don’t usually need an excuse for a cup of tea and a slice of cake but, just in case, did you know that 9-15 August is Afternoon Tea Week which celebrates the tradition of taking afternoon tea?

Of course, we are all aware that too much sugar and fat in our diet is bad for our health but the occasional treat will do us no harm. Indeed the enjoyment that comes from sharing tea, cake, conversation and laughs with our friends, colleagues and relatives can be positively beneficial to our mental health.

We can also enjoy healthier options that are lower in fats and sugars but still taste delicious. Our in-house chef, John Weallens, regularly serves up such delights for the Chiswick residents and Afternoon Tea Week will be no exception. Here John shares one of his favourite recipes for Carraway Cake.

Caraway cake

  • Butter for greasing
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • salt to taste
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seed
  • 1 egg
  • 125ml milk

Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas mark 4. Grease and flour the bottom and sides of a 20cm sandwich tin with butter.

Sift together flour, salt and baking powder.

Cream 125g butter and sugar together. Mix in caraway seeds and egg. Add flour mixture and milk, beating well. Pour batter into prepared tin.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool.

When It Is Good To Be Puzzled

Much has been written about the benefits of keeping the brain cells active as we get older. Doing a puzzle – of whatever sort – is one way to achieve this.

At the Chiswick, we keep a stock of jigsaw puzzles that are always popular with our residents.

We use super-sized pieces that are easier to handle for those with painful or stiffer joints. The very action of picking up pieces and putting them into place is great exercise for the hands and fingers. Plus an easy, wipe-clean finish promotes good hygiene and deals with any inadvertent spills.

We always set aside time for people to ‘have a go’ and we regularly observe and enjoy that sense of satisfaction as someone slots in that last piece to complete the puzzle.

A Few Tips on Making The Chiswick Your Home from Home

Moving into residential care is a huge decision but, once taken, there are a few tips that we can pass on to help smooth the transition – particularly if you, or a relative, are joining us at The Chiswick.

You can use this as a check list to make you feel at home as quickly as possible and to deal with some of the practicalities of making the move.

The room

Think about what you might bring to make your personal space feel like a home from home. Although all of our rooms are furnished, there is space for a special piece of small furniture such as a favourite armchair or side table. Photos, books, a few ornaments, pictures or other treasured possessions can help transform a room into your very own comfortable haven.

You will have a TV, direct dial telephone and free WIFI included so if you have an iPad or digital tablet bring this too. It will be ideal for connecting you with your loved ones. A member of staff will help you get online if you need assistance.

All rooms have en-suite bathrooms with towels and bed linen included. Bring your favourite toiletries, if you have a preferred brand. Tops-ups can be provided on request, with a re-charge to your account, or you can arrange your own supplies.


Make sure you bring sufficient comfortable daytime clothes and night wear. These should include some lighter pieces for warmer days as well as heavier ones for outdoors as there will be trips out or you may wish to use our garden. Ideally, clothes should be easy to take on and off and be washable. They will need to withstand frequent washing and drying by our laundry service. 

Food and Drink

A full meals service is provided, either in our dining room or tray service in your own room.

Meals are important, nutritionally, socially and as something to look forward to and savour. Our in-house chef and his team take pride in producing delicious, healthy menus, with a choice of dishes to remind you of home.

Do please let us know your dietary preferences. Our care team will generally go through an eating plan with you, on arrival, to assess your needs and likes but we can usually meet all requirements, whether they are vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, halal, kosher, gluten-free, lactose-free etc

As we get older, our tastes and abilities to absorb certain nutrients change, so we remain flexible to work with you to ensure you receive the food, flavours and textures you need to enjoy your meals and gain the maximum nutritional benefits. Of course, there will be treats along the way. We all recognise the feel good factor that cake delivers!


Healthy minds are as important as healthy bodies. There is lots to do at The Chiswick, both inside and outside (if the weather permits).

We encourage people to take part and our activities programme is so diverse, we are sure there will be something to appeal to most tastes. If there is anything we don’t offer, that you enjoy, please let us know and we will try to accommodate it.

Group events that give our residents the chance to interact and socialise are high on the agenda but you will also have the opportunity for some quieter pastimes if you prefer. We have quiet areas and sitting rooms available as well as our much-loved garden in the warmer months.

There is an in-house physiotherapy gym where you can work with our physio team to improve or maintain your mobility and flexibility – or re-habilitate if you are recovering from an illness, injury or operation.

We also have an on-site hairdressers so you can always look your best.

We hope you will you will view moving to the The Chiswick as a positive experience and we will endeavour to make you feel at home as quickly as possible. We never forget that you have a choice.

A Special Thank You to Our Nursing Staff

Today (Wednesday 12 May) is International Nurses Day which commemorates the birth of Florence Nightingale and the outstanding contribution of nurses both in the UK and around the world.

Here, at The Chiswick, we want to add our sincere gratitude to our nursing and healthcare staff. Centre Director, Steve Winter, said:

“This year, International Nurses Day has particular significance. Nurses have been on the frontline during this pandemic and have had to face some real, never before seen, challenges.

The dedication and hard work from our clinical team has helped us to get through this difficult time. I know that our residents, their families and friends and the rest of the Chiswick ‘family’ would like to join me in extending our thanks and appreciation on this special day.”

Each of our Nurses has received our own special thank you of a ‘Goodie Bag’ of items, a nurse practice reflection diary, and opportunities to attend briefing sessions run by partners at Kingston University that will help and educate our team on ways that they can look after their own mental health with care and compassion – at a time that continues to be a real challenge to healthcare professionals across the world.”

Enjoying the Fruits of a Healthy Donation

Staff at The Chiswick have been kept nutritionally ‘powered’ to help fight the COVID 19 virus with the kind help and support of Fruitful Office Ltd.

The fruit delivery company has generously supplied us with weekly donations of fruit boxes that have been a real morale booster for our staff and helped to maintain their fitness and energy levels during this difficult time.

Eating fruit delivers a range of well documented benefits but employers who make fruit readily available for their workforce see additional advantages. For example, a recent survey showed that 81% of staff thought that having fresh fruit available improved their quality of life at work, 70% started eating more fruit and 45% were eating fewer unhealthy snacks.

The Chiswick team positively look forward to their weekly delivery, which has become a talking point and something that brings a ‘feel good’ factor. Centre Director, Steve Winter said: “The concept of fruit box delivery to each of our Departments and services where staff need an extra nutitional boost to keep them going is a great idea.”

“Our staff have enjoyed the kind donations from Fruitful Office Ltd and we are extremely grateful for their kindness during a time that has been, and continues to be, difficult for our workforce.”

The Fruitful Office Ltd:     https://www.fruitfuloffice.co.uk/

Off to the Flicks

Residents look forward to our regular film afternoons where they sit back in their social bubbles and enjoy re-watching a much-loved movie or something they may have missed first time around. The aftermath often prompts lively conversations as viewers share their opinions and highlights.

Some popular films include:

On Golden Pond, My Fair Lady, Singing in the Rain, Grumpy Old Men, Driving Miss Daisy, The Wizard of Oz, Billy Elliot, Mama Mia, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and anything with Laurel and Hardy.

Our former Cinema Room has not seen much use of it due to the restrictions arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. We are having this area revamped to provide a much better and more accessible space where residents and their families can go to enjoy a coffee and cake, herbal tea, and just spend time away from their bedrooms. Our film afternoons will remain available in the communal lounge areas at the nursing centre.

Educating Children to Respect the Elderly

Grandparents have plenty of life experience and wisdom to share, making them an obvious source of advice for the younger generation. Unfortunately, now that children live in an age where technology gives them all the answers, a gap is forming between young and old.

As a parent, you have a chance to bridge this gap by teaching your children the value of elders.

Here are a few tips on teaching your child to respect the elderly…

Set a good example

If your child grows up watching you show respect and courtesy towards older people, they’re more likely to follow suit. Behave in the way that you’d like to see your own child behave. Teach your child that if an adult is talking they should listen to them and not interrupt. Encourage your child to be helpful, polite and considerate when they are in the company of all adults.

Asking questions

Whether in a simple conversation or for a homework project, asking a grandparent questions can teach your child a lot about history and their family tree. Your child may be surprised to learn about certain events they have lived through or jobs they have done. Grandparents often have fascinating stories to tell about their own childhood. Asking questions will not only help your child to respect their elders, but it will also help to keep those important family stories alive.

Be helpful

Teach your child to be helpful and considerate towards the elderly. For example, hold the door open for them and save a seat for them to sit down. It is also helpful to make your child aware of certain disabilities that an elderly person may have. Remember some disabilities are not always visual, such as hearing loss and dementia, so your child may need to learn how to speak up and be patient.

Keep in touch

It’s important for children to develop their own respect for the elderly by listening and spending quality time with them. This has been particularly difficult over the last year due to the Coronavirus pandemic; however families and schools can encourage children to keep in touch with elderly friends and relatives via phone calls, video calls and writing letters.

Vital Vitamins For Good Health

At the Chiswick, a balanced nutritional diet is part of the personalised care plans we produce and deliver. We ensure that the food we serve is tasty, appealing and contains the right balance of vitamins and other health-promoting ingredients.

Here, we focus on two important vitamins for good health – B and D.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B, sometimes referred to as Vitamin B complex, is actually a group of eight vitamins that all perform a slightly different function within the body. You may have heard the names niacin, thiamine and riboflavin.  These are all B vitamins.

Overall, B vitamins are the building blocks and custodians of a healthy body. They have a direct impact on energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism, helping to prevent infections. Some work to convert food into energy, others keep the skin, eyes and nervous system in good working order or assist in the production of red blood cells.

Provided that you eat a well-balanced diet, including whole grains and cereals, you should be getting all the Vitamin B that you need. However, as we get older it becomes harder to absorb Vitamin B12, which is found in meat, cod, salmon, milk, cheese, eggs and some fortified cereals, so supplements are sometimes recommended for those with an identified deficiency.

Vitamin D

Our bodies get the majority of the Vitamin D needs from the sunlight but we can also gain it through oily fish, eggs and breakfast cereals. Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. 

During the long, dark, winter months, and especially during lockdown when many of us have been unable to get out into the sun, diet is an important source of Vitamin D.

Here, our in-house chef, John shares his recipe for fish pie, which is rich in Vitamins B and D. Healthy but also delicious.

Fish Pie

For the mashed potatoes

1kg/2lb 4oz potatoes, cut into 5cm/2in chunks.
50g/2oz salted butter
6 tbsp double cream
Pinch salt and white pepper

For the filling

500ml/1 pint milk
250g/9oz fresh salmon
200g/7oz cod loin
100g/3½oz prawns
1 onion
1 bay leaf
2 leeks washed and chopped.
50g/2oz butter, plus 25g/1oz for dotting on top of the pie
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp plain flour
50g/2oz frozen peas
1 tbsp finely chopped dill


Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5.

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain and mash them with the salted butter, double cream and season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

Heat the milk in a large pan, then add the fresh salmon and cod. Cut onion in half and make an incision in the onion and insert the bay leaf. Bring the milk to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 6–7 minutes.

Meanwhile, finely chop the remaining onion half and the leeks. Heat the butter with the olive oil in a small frying pan and gently fry the onion and leeks for 4–5 minutes, until softened but not browned.

Remove the fish from the pan and set aside to cool slightly. Keep the milk in the pan.

Add the flour to the leeks and stir well. Fry for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Gradually spoon in the milk from poaching the fish and stir it in well each time. Add all the milk in this way, and heat gently until the sauce has thickened. Taste the sauce for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if necessary.

Break the fish into chunks, feel for any bones and remove any skin, then fold the fish pieces into the sauce. Add prawns, chopped dill and frozen peas to the mixture.

Place an ovenproof pie dish onto a baking tray, pour the fish mixture into the bottom of the dish.

Carefully top with the cooled mashed potato. Use a fork to spread the mash over the pie and create a rough texture on top. Dot the pie with the remaining half of the butter and place in the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until golden-brown and bubbling.

Catering Manager goes the extra mile to help the homeless

John Wealleans, Head of Catering at The Chiswick, and his family have been spending their free time helping the homeless/rough sleepers in his home city of Chelmsford.

To date they have managed to raise a whopping £15,000 towards the cost of a fully equipped catering van that will enable them to extend their meals service to the homeless over a wider area, a much-needed service.

The management of The Chiswick Nursing Centre has weighed in with a generous donation in support of John, one of its longest-serving members of the staff team. “You have all been so supportive and generous towards getting the van, I am humbled by this as it’s so tough at the moment,” John said.

Whilst they wait for the van to arrive, John and his charitable colleagues have already been out and about in Chelmsford, during the evening, serving delicious Chinese-style food – chicken in black bean sauce with noodles or beef and okra with noodles. There was chocolate bread and butter pudding to follow and a tasty cake to take away. The Witham Hub kindly provided the ingredients.

STREETFOOD (the name of the group) stand alongside other outreach groups:

The ladies from the Community Church: supply drinks, breakfast bags and sandwiches.

‘Warm Hearts for Cold Hands’ ensures everyone has the clothes they needed,”

Meanwhile the fundraising must go on to cover the costs of running and maintaining the van once it arrives. John vows not to stop until they have helped as many homeless/rough sleepers as they can. No homeless/rough sleeper should go hungry. Awareness is a powerful tool.

If anyone would like to help, they can visit the STREETFOOD Facebook page to find out more about the project. Donations can be made via GoFundMe, or you can contact John via the Chiswick Nursing Centre on 0208 222 7800.

Coronavirus (COVID 19) – our guidance to service users and families – update

Dear Relatives, Friends and Next of Kin,

I am pleased to advise that we now have no further cases of confirmed Covid-19 at The Chiswick. Any Residents who were isolating as a result of having symptoms or having tested positive for the virus, have now completed their period of isolation. 

As a part of our rigorous efforts to maintain the current position we continue to test every employee every day / night that they work; and every resident once per week. 

At the present time, and as a part of the established outbreak cycle operated by Public Health England, the home will remain closed to new admissions and, I am afraid, to visitors.

Our normal exceptional visiting arrangements remain in place for those who are close to the end of life. I am, of course, aware of the announcements issued by the Minister for Health regarding re-establishing structured and regulated visits for Residents from a named visitor, and we very much welcome that initiative.

My team are currently working on ways to implement the new system from the soonest possible date. 

The Minister had suggested 8th March 2021 as a start date, however our own situation will be governed as well by the date when Public Health England agree that we can re-open following a 28 day cycle from the most recent outbreak of the virus in the home. 

Details of the new visiting scheme and start date will be publicised on this web page ahead of that event. 

If you have any specific questions or if I can assist further, please do feel free to contact me by email: Steve.winter@chiswicknursingcentre.co.uk  or  0208 222 7800. 

Steve WinterCentre Director

Coronavirus (COVID 19) - our guidance to service users and families. We are using this link to keep all service users and families as up to date as possible on this fast developing and rapidly changing situation.Please click here for our latest guidance.