Stour Valley Care Group specifies six powered ​assisted baths from Gainsborough Specialist Bathrooms at its new luxury care home project in Essex.

Three ​Ascot height adjustable baths and three Windsor baths with powered seats have been installed at the new sixty-six bed care home in Manningtree, Essex. Completed in December 2014, Mistley Manor represents the new flagship care home development for the Stour Valley Care Group.

Nearly £7 million has been invested into this new build project to ensure the very highest standards of care provision can be delivered. A 150-strong care team will support over sixty residents, including some individuals with conditions like Dementia and Alzheimer’s. In addition to the main building complex which accommodates sixty residents over three floors, four separate bungalows have been built to provide independent living accommodation for selected residents.

Products specified

  • 3 x Ascot hi-lo bath

  • 3 x Windsor 2 fixed height bath


  • 6 Accessible bathrooms
  • 3 located in main building
  • 3 independent living bungalows
Hartwood House

Construction of Mistley Manor began in 2012 and owners, Mike and Jacqui Volf, were responsible for not only the project management but also the specification, design and coordination of the construction for this new development. Above all, Mike and Jacqui were keen to create a place of complete luxury and comfort for their residents, and so they set about designing a ‘care hotel’. Essentially, it is a residential care environment with a stylish more sumptuous, aspirational feel compared to a conventional care home setting.

After intensive research of several specialist bathing manufacturers, Gainsborough was identified as the perfect partner to provide assisted bathing solutions for this innovative new-build project.

Crucially important was the need to minimise moving and handling risks. It was essential Jacqui Volf selected the most suitable products to match the needs of both the residents and the on-site care team. Gainsborough’s wide range of specialist disabled baths ensured Jacqui was able to tailor her choice to create safe and easy access baths for Mistley Manor’s residents. Following a thorough consultation process, Gainsborough was selected to assess, survey, design and install six assisted bathing systems within the main building complex and four adjacent bungalows.

Products specified

Two alternative disabled bath models from Gainsborough’s product range were selected by the Stour Valley Care Group as the care needs of residents varied between the main building and the adjacent independent living bungalows. Within the main building complex, the Ascot hi-lo baths provided a compact assisted bathing solution, maximising bathroom space and allowing sufficient access for carers. The powered transfer seat and variable-height adjustment on the Ascot bath eliminates the need for carers to manually lift residents in and out of the bath.

This easy access bath ensures moving and handling risks for carers, including potential back and muscle strain, are fully minimised. Designed to be easy-to-clean, the Ascot bath helps care staff maintain enhanced levels of hygiene, particularly within high traffic wet areas in care homes. The Ascot bath combines TMV3 water temperature controls, integrated shower unit and a soft-touch seat with removable hygiene aperture to allow residents to bathe safely and in complete comfort.

With residents in the on-site bungalows being more independent, the Windsor bath was considered a more appropriate easy access bathing solution given the specific needs of those bathers. Designed to fit into the space of a traditional style bath, the fixed-height Windsor incorporates a powered transfer seat that can be operated simply with an easy-to-use, roaming handset. The powered seat traverse function lifts, rotates and lowers the bather safely and efficiently into the bath without the need for manual assistance.

Project management

The Gainsborough product specialists completed comprehensive site surveys as construction of Mistley Manor began. Detailed 3D layout drawings illustrated the optimum position of the baths to maximise accessibility in and around the bathrooms in the main building. Each Ascot bath was centrally located to allow greater access to the bather. This also ensured wheelchairs and other patient transfer equipment had sufficient space available to allow residents to be manoeuvred safely and efficiently.

Jacqui Volf, Mistley Manor, Owner comments: “We were looking for versatile, easy-to-use bathing solutions that would offer the highest levels of care and flexibility for our residents. The Gainsborough product specialists were helpful and talked us through the various options and main considerations to bear in mind. Their professional approach and ability to support us right from the concept and design stages through to commissioning and carer training were absolutely critical to our final decision. We designed Mistley Manor to offer a luxurious, yet exceptionally comfortable living environment for our residents. Every element of the build was carefully considered, from the spread and variety of accommodation available to the design and specification of the various fixtures and fittings throughout. Gainsborough’s specialist baths create an enjoyable bathing experience for users and help our team deliver greater levels of care.”

Jacqui continues: “The Gainsborough power-adjustable baths also assist us in maintaining high levels of infection control. Not only do the baths reduce manual handling risks for carers, the Windsor bath delivers greater independence for residents in our bungalows which is critically important for their long term well-being. We are delighted that our bungalows allow elderly couples to continue living together happily in a safe and comfortable environment. Kevin, Gainsborough’s Regional Sales Manager, has been very supportive throughout the installation and commissioning process. His dedication and continued support has ensured all our specific needs have been met.”

Choose an easy access bath according to care requirements, bathing environment and key functionality needs. To find out more about our assisted bathing solutions please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team today.

Windsor Bath
Mistley Ascot