The History

Dianne Smyth, the Person in Charge at Oak House, began her career in business management. In 1993 she teamed up with her husband, Dr Tristram Smyth a G.P. in Exeter, to open a Residential Care Home in Exminster, Exeter, to cater for sufferers with dementia with 12 beds. At the time, this was a revolutionary approach to this type of care since it was standard practice then to place those residents either within a hospital or nursing home setting. It was their belief that this approach was enormously counter-productive in terms of the sufferer's welfare and well-being. It is salutory, nowadays, to note that the formerly accepted stance is, in the majority of cases, unacceptable.

Due to pressure of space, a second home in Lyndhurst Road, Exeter was started in 1995 but, again, increasing demand for the service required that two adjoining houses in St Leonard's Road were purchased in 2000 and both previous homes moved onto this site over time. The services remained there until April 2009 when Dr Smyth retired and Dianne decided to concentrate her energies with eleven residents in just one of the properties. So, in a sense, it's back to the future - a re-emphasis on the quaility of care that only a small home with high staff/resident ratios can be confident of achieving.

 


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