High Oaks

Rectory Road, Gissing, Diss IP22 5UU

High Oaks is a specialist care home for adults aged over 18, including over 65's, with mental health needs including those who also have associated learning disabilities.   The homes high staff to resident ratio, 24-hour waking staff, registered mental health nurse manager and a diverse experienced staff team enables the home to provide high quality care for residents with severe symptoms, complex needs and/or those who have proved difficult to place.

High Oaks has a reputation for its success with people whose care in many other establishments has failed.

High Oaks offers a quiet location in Gissing, south Norfolk, situated away from the stresses and temptations of the city, benefiting residents with space, peace and the chance to refocus and pursue their own pathway to recovery.

Owner: High Oaks Farm Ltd

Person in charge: Claire Caswell (Registered Manager)

Local Authority / Social Services: Norfolk County Council (click for contact details)

Type of Service: Care Home only (Residential Care) – Privately Owned , Registered for a maximum of 18 Service Users

Registered Care Categories*: Mental Health Condition • Younger Adults

Specialist Care Categories: Anorexia/Bulimia/Self Harming • Asperger Syndrome • Bipolar/Manic Depression • Challenging Behaviour • Epilepsy • Schizophrenia

Admission Information: Ages 18+.

Single Rooms: 18

Rooms with ensuite WC: 4

Facilities & Services: Day Care • Respite Care • Independent Living Training • Own GP if required • Own Furniture if required • Pets by arrangement • Near Public Transport • Minibus or other transport • Ground Floor Accommodation only • Gardens for residents • Phone Point in own room/Mobile • Television point in own room • Residents Internet Access



Direct line trains run from London Liverpool Street to Diss
(1.5 hours) and from both Norwich and Ipswich to Diss.


From Norwich:
Take the A140 towards Ipswich and go through Long Stratton.
After 4 miles turn right at the Pulham Market roundabout - signposted Attleborough (B1134).
Follow this road for 2 miles and over a railway crossing.
After 0.75 miles turn left at the at the signpost into Rectory Road.
High Oaks is 0.75 miles on the right.

From Ipswich:
Take the A140 towards Norwich. Turn left at the Pulham Market roundabout (B1134),
then follow instructions as above.


The local bus company operates a service to both Diss and Norwich.


High Oaks welcome visitors and have no set visiting time although asks guests to leave at a reasonable hour in the evening.


Car park on site and no parking restrictions on the road.

Latest Care Quality Commission* Report on High Oaks: click here

* Care Quality Commission is responsible for the registration and inspection of social care services in England.


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Bed Vacancies

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Awards / Recognitions

November 2014

February 2014

2014 Norfolk Care Awards Finalist

Recipient: High Oaks

Date: Thursday 13 Feb 2014

more details

Job Vacancies

Staff Profiles

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Claire Caswell

Job Title: Registered Manager (RMN)

Joined: 2008


Main Areas of Responsibility:

Leading the staff team, delivery of care and support including all clinical aspects

Claire has professionally practiced within mental health since 1993. In 2006 she gained a Diploma of Higher Education in Mental Health Nursing and worked as a Registered Mental Health Nurse (RMN) predominantly in secure hospital settings, before joining High Oaks in 2008.

This experience in secure settings and having a forensic trained background, complements the complex needs and behavioural difficulties experienced by some residents and provides confidence and direction to the staff team.

Claire developed her knowledge and skills base and has achieved the role of Registered Manager. This role enables Claire to develop her interest and passion around promoting the well-being and social inclusion of High Oaks’ residents, enabling them to optimise their individual goals and aspirations.

Claire encourages the involvement of Quality Assurance in accordance with CQC recommendations, welcoming their contributions. She attends funding panel meetings, 117 meetings and CPA’s. Claire encourages the participation of care co-ordinators and adheres closely to ‘working together’ procedures and practices and initiates positive communication.

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Tony Gowers

Job Title: Support Team Manager

Joined: 2005


Main Areas of Responsibility:

Leading the support workers’ team, delivering and overseeing in-house staff training, counselling, overseeing the maintenance of the building.

Tony joined High Oaks in 2005 as a Support Worker and before long his skills as a qualified Counsellor were also being utilised.

Prior to High Oaks, Tony provided Counselling and health advising services to young people. He then set up a supported housing unit for people with mental health difficulties, which he successfully ran, living with the residents, for seven years until a change in his own personal circumstances meant he had to reluctantly sell the business.

Tony has inspired confidence to residents who may otherwise have reverted to their past difficulties. He provides a therapeutic environment where residents can plan their counselling sessions and/ or gradually explore their own wishes and feelings with him in relaxed and informal settings.

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Bernadine Pritchett

Job Title: Director

Joined: 2003


It was in 2002 that Bernadine’s affair with High Oaks began and in 2003 she purchased it from the previous owner. She loved that it was independent; no panels and board of directors to jump through hoops for or to put the kibosh on every idea. She also loved that it was in a peaceful, spacious location with a beautiful big garden and it felt like a real home where people with mental health needs were being supported rather than a clinical mental health unit.

Her background couldn’t be further away from the care world. For many years she sang in musicals in the West End and on tour and entered the business with a lot to learn but could do it with a song!

The first few years were particularly challenging and there are still many challenges to overcome but wouldn’t life be dull without challenge?

Bernadine is passionate about High Oaks and helping people on their life journey and being rather ambitious, has some exciting development plans…

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Julia Brown

Job Title: Development Officer / Advanced Social Worker

Joined: 2012


Main areas of responsibility:

Developing the services offered by High Oaks including the creation of a domiciliary service ‘High Oaks Community Care & Support’, to actively encourage new interest and referrals.

Julia joined the team in 2012 with a proven track record of experience in social care since 1983. Julia has a DIPSW in Social Work, BA in Children and Families, is Approved Mental Health Qualified and completes her MA in Social Work/mental health at University of East Anglia this September 2013. She is Practice Educator trained and an experienced trainer, providing in-house training and student training within High Oaks. This considerable experience has complemented the existing management team encouraging exciting development and a cohesive workforce.

Previous experience includes involvement in setting up new commissioned services such a Day Centre, residential units and relocating residents from long-term hospital placements into the community. Before moving into social care Julia ran an antiques business in London and worked as a graphics artist creating and promoting advertising.

Recent refresher training and guidance under KPI (Key Person of Influence) has rekindled her interest to promote and develop new services at High Oaks.

Care Home Idol 2016

There are currently no Care Home Idol entrants who have performed at High Oaks