Meet the Manager of Hylton Grange in Sunderland – Donna Davidson

21 September 2023

Donna Davidson, Home Manager of Hylton Grange

Donna Davidson is the Registered Care Home Manager at Hylton Grange, Exemplar Health Care’s newest complex care service in Sunderland. 

In this blog, we talk to Donna about the facilities at Hylton Grange and what sets the home apart from other care homes. 

Tell us about some of the facilities at Hylton Grange

“Hylton Grange is a brand-new purpose-built care home, so every room is light and spacious.

“Throughout the build we considered the needs of the people we were going to be supporting and integrated this into the design. 

“The large bedrooms all have their own en-suite and come equipped with profiling beds and dementia-friendly furniture. People can personalise their bedroom if they wish. 

“Each unit has a sensory bathroom designed to provide a calming and relaxing experience. We offer a range of accessible baths for a range of mobility and sensory needs. To enhance the experience, people can play music through the Bluetooth wireless system and change the colour mood lighting.

Sensory bathroom at Hylton Grange
Sensory bathroom at Hylton Grange

“There’s a communal lounge and kitchen on every unit to encourage people to interact with each other, and a quiet lounge for those who might need less stimulation. 

“At the heart of the home we have The Hub. The Hub is a bistro café used for activities and events, with direct access onto the patio and garden. It’s equipped with adaptive features like rise and fall sinks, an accessible oven, and transparent kitchen cabinets to support people to relearn essential skills for daily life. 

“Close to The Hub, we also have a Visitor’s Suite with a bedroom and en-suite, for if families and friends want to visit.”

The Hub at Hylton Grange
The Hub at Hylton Grange

What do you think sets Hylton Grange apart from other nursing homes?

“One benefit at Hylton Grange which is different to other nursing homes is the small group living. The home is split into three 10-bed communities which provides a friendly and homely environment and enables us to be more responsive.  

“Secondly, due to the complex nature of the care we provide at Hylton Grange, the staffing ratio is higher than any provider I’ve known. There’s always a Registered Nurse on duty on every unit. We also have our in-house Physiotherapist and Occupational Therapist, along with a central Consultant Psychiatrist in times of crisis. People also have access to a Speech and Language Therapist if they need it! 

“Lastly, our extensive induction and clinical training means we have a highly skilled and trained team at Hylton Grange. The nursing team has a wealth of experience across mental health, learning disability and general nursing – and we’re lucky to have a team of Nurses from a range of backgrounds.” 

Therapy room at Hylton Grange
Therapy room at Hylton Grange

What do you think people value the most about living at Hylton Grange?

“The majority of people who come to us have unfortunately experienced one or more failed placements because previous providers didn’t have the skills or expertise to support their complex needs. 

“We know how distressing this can be for the individual themselves and their loved ones. We hope to bring an end to this cycle with our high staffing levels and highly trained teams.

"We also pride ourselves in providing personalised and holistic care which is built around the needs of the individual.

“For example, people can become a Service User Ambassador and get involved in the running of the home and wider company. 

“We also place a big focus on community engagement so people can remain part of their local community if they wish. 

“During my induction I was lucky enough to visit other Exemplar Health Care homes and spoke to people who’d been supported to go to college, festivals and on holiday. I’m really excited to see how we can achieve similar outcomes for those at Hylton Grange.”

Colleagues at Hylton Grange

What do you have planned for the next six months at Hylton Grange?

“My aim is for Hylton Grange to be the best nursing home in Sunderland, with a well-trained, compassionate and caring staff team.  

“To do that, we’ll continue to build upon the great work we’re already doing.

“We’ll continue to create a happy and fun environment for the people we support. We’ll continue to employ talented and skilled people who match our values. 

“And in six months, the home will be a thriving community bringing more positive outcomes for the people that live here and their families.” 

If you’re looking for a complex care placement in the Sunderland area, make an online care enquiry or contact our Referrals Team on 01709 565777 or