About Abbey Care

Abbey Care was established in 1997 by Mike and Nessa Downes and was run by them until their retirement in 2016. Mike and Nessa were absolutely dedicated to their clients, striving to provide a service that was flexible, reliable and always went the 'extra mile' for the clients and their families.

Mike and Jenny Nightingale joined the company in 2004, and took over the running of Abbey Care when Mike and Nessa retired. The Ethos that Mike and Nessa established continues today and underpins all that we do for our clients.

We are based in Haywards Heath in West Sussex and provide care to individuals in their own homes in Haywards Heath, Lindfield, Cuckfield and Burgess Hill.

Jenny Nightingale is the Registered Manager. Mike and Jenny are supported by a Deputy Manager, Helen Reed, and our Care Co-ordinators Carmel Sharpington, Diane Langford and Joanne McDonald. We can be contacted by ringing 01444 455622 or via email.

About Abbey Care

Back row from left to right: Joanne, Helen, Diane. Front row from left to right: Carmel, Jenny, Mike.

We have a strong, stable, skilled and experienced team that we are very proud of and the excellent work they consistently do for our clients every day. This is reflected in the testimonials section of the website.

We are members of the United Kingdom Home Care Association Ltd (UKHCA).

We are an approved Care provider for West Sussex County Council (WSCC) and the NHS. We are registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Philosophy of Care

Abbey Care strives to provide a consistently high standard of client centered care which is given with compassion, dignity and respect. Clients and those important to them are central to planning their care which is delivered in a way to maximise their choices, equality, independence and safety.

Starting Care

Call us on 01444 455622 and we will arrange an appointment to come and see you for a free and relaxed assessment. We will come and see you in local hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centres if needed. The assessment normally takes an hour and gives you the opportunity to ask questions about us and the service we offer and for us to give advice if needed.

Starting Care

We need to discuss your care needs, medication, health history, your normal routines, how we can help and what outcomes you want to achieve. We also identify any risks and look at ways of minimising these, this may involve us, with your consent, making referrals to others, including occupational therapists and community nurses.

We treat people as individuals and plan the care according to your wishes and try to maximise your choice, equality, independence and safety. Although we formulate a care plan, which is kept in your home, our careworkers will respond to your needs on a day to day basis and always ask if there is anything else you need help with.

We provide assistance with the following:

Personal Care eg bathing, showering, washing, shaving, mouthcare, helping with toileting and incontinence products.

Medication This can involve prompting, assisting with or administering medication

Meals We can heat and serve meals and prepare light meals and drinks. We can also do your shopping for you

During our care visits we will also make the bed, clean the commode, empty rubbish, bring the milk in, help fill out forms, assist with the laundry, wash the dishes and the other little jobs that will make your life easier.


You all looked after my Mum with such patience, tenderness and efficiency….We couldn’t have wished for better carers and they all made it so much easier for me knowing how well she was looked after

The care that your team give is exceptional. I always felt that my Mother was treated with kindness and love by all who came to help her from your team. Nothing was too much trouble for her and they were particularly good at treating those ‘embarassing’ moments that come with any illness with dignity

Thank you to all of your kind and supportive team.I am sure that the way you cared for Mum prolonged her life and gave her a better quality of life in those last 6 months. You certainly gave me peace of mind and I know she could not have stayed in her beloved home without you all

We are forever grateful for your wonderful care given to P, our love and thanks, words are not enough. We could not have got through without you all and have some lovely memories of the last few years. Special people

I would like to thank you and your staff for coming to the rescue at a very difficult time for the family. Your staff have been fantastic in their care for H and their support to my mother. They always came on time and their kindness and compassion could not be faulted. Few people have any experience of relatives dying and it was very important to S that she was constantly reassured the process was going on as expected

My daughters and I would like to say a big thank you to both of you and your team for all the care you gave to my husband in the last few weeks of his life. You all cared for him in such a kind way, ensuring that he kept his dignity throughout. He loved, when he could, having a joke with the girls and we know he appreciated all the support you all gave him

Thank you all for your care and kindness during my husband’s illness. Every one of you was kind and put up with everything in the most gentle and patient fashion

Thank you for all the kindness and sympathetic help you have given E over the past few months. We would have no hesitation in recommending your service to any person who is in need of care

Thank you for all your loving care and help you gave R and me, you were always happy, caring and supporting and all lovely people. I hope when and if I need caring for you will still be there, for me

I would like to thank you and all the ladies who looked after Mum so brilliantly while we were visiting our son in Australia, we really do appreciate the great care

Thank you all so much for the wonderful care you gave T and the support you gave us. You treated T with such kindness and respect. You made a difficult time so much easier because of your caring. We can never thank you enough and will have fond memories of you all

Your staff were wonderful. The carers who attended my mother were always cheerful, polite, kind and caring. My mother was very resistant to the idea that she needed any support with regard to her personal care and yet your staff were always very understanding, tolerant and patient

Your caring service is greatly appreciated by both myself and my parents. Your staff are very attentive and from my experience they always have a cheerful disposition which is why I know my parents eagerly await the daily visits from the members of your team

You have all helped to make her last years happier than they otherwise would have been. Your girls started as carers, but over the years became friends

I’d like to express our deep gratitude for the very loving and constantly cheerful care that M has received from all your staff. Compared with other providers we have experienced, we might be on another planet, and we often refer to your calls as an angelic visitation! Many thanks indeed

Funding Information

You may be entitled to Attendance Allowance (AA), which you could use to help fund your care. This is not means tested and based solely on your needs. It is available for anyone over 65 who needs support with personal care. There are two rates of AA, depending how your illness or disability affects you.

Carer’s Allowance is also available for those who spend more than 35 hours per week caring for someone else

You are entitled to a care assessment from the Local Authority. When you have an assessment, your needs will be judged to see whether you’re eligible for services under the national eligibility criteria. Social care is means tested, so you may have to contribute to the cost of your care if you qualify for council-funded care. If you do qualify for this the care can be funded by social services directly or you can be allocated a Personal Budget. This is designed to allow you to arrange your care in the way you think is best, with appropriate support.

Personal Independence Payment can be claimed if you are under 65 and need help with personal care or moving around.

If you have a disability or complex medical problem, you might qualify for free NHS continuing healthcare (CHC). This is where a person’s primary need is a ‘health need’ and the NHS is regarded as responsible for providing for and fully funding all their needs in any setting, including their home. To see if you are eligible you can ask your GP or social worker to arrange an assessment.

For social care help and support call Adult CarePoint Tel: 01243 642121

Links about funding:

Getting Help at Home
Paying for Care and Support at Home
Personal Budgets and Direct Payments in Social Care
West Sussex Connect to Support
NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS-Funded Nursing Care
Attendance Allowance
Carer’s Allowance
Benefits for People under Pension Credit Age
Pension Credit
Personal Budgets and Direct Payments in Social Care
Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance

Staff Recruitment

We choose our staff very carefully with the thought of who we would like to care for our loved ones. We are very proud of the team we have and have excellent staff retention. Potential staff are interviewed face to face in our office and if they are successful we obtain two written references and verify identity. All staff are subject to a background check via the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) which includes checks of police records, before starting work alone. All staff complete the Care Certificate when they are new to care work and then work towards a level 2 or higher qualification in health and social care. All staff complete mandatory training and a range of additional training relevant to their role and the clients’ needs.

All new staff ‘shadow’ an experienced careworker when they start work until we and they feel competent to work alone. They have frequent spot checks and supervisions to assess the quality of their work and we have a culture of openness and honesty between staff, clients and relatives to ensure standards are being met.

Feedback from our staff is very positive, and indicates that they enjoy their work and feel valued in the job they do. They form meaningful relationships with their clients, and this is clear from the testimonials from our clients.


It is Abbey Care’s policy to comply with all legal and regulatory requirements, which apply to the way we run our business. This includes the obligations imposed by the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Respecting and ensuring confidentiality to our Clients, their family members and/or representatives and our staff members is an important element of Abbey Care’s commitment to quality service. This policy applies to all Abbey Care staff.

Clients have an unquestionable right to expect all personal information about themselves, their illness, their family and their circumstances to be kept confidential. Every employee has an obligation to protect this confidence. All Clients information whether medical, financial or otherwise, is confidential. It must not be disclosed to any third party without the prior consent of the Client or their representative. Information which is regarded as confidential and therefore not to be disclosed, includes information which relates in any way to the condition, care or treatment of a Client or any information about a Client or their relative including financial information.

Access to files containing confidential information should be limited to those individuals who have a proper reason for needing it, such as: Care Quality Commission (CQC) or the Commissioning Body.

All paper files and records are kept securely in fireproof and lockable filing cabinets working within the Data Protection Act 1998. All electronic data about Clients is stored on computers that are password-protected.


The aim of safeguarding is to prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to adults with care and support needs. The aim is to support individuals in making choices and having control in how they choose to live their lives. Abbey Care has certain obligations to safeguard clients from abuse and improper treatment.

We operate under the Pan Sussex Safeguarding policy, which is administered by West Sussex County Council, East Sussex County Council, Brighton and Hove Council and Sussex Police. We co-operate fully with these agencies on any safeguarding matter


Current Vacancies

Domiciliary Care Assistant (DCA) Full time or part time, various hours available.  To work in Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Cuckfield and Lindfield. Experience preferred but not essential as full training will be provided.  The right attitude is more important than your prior experience. 

Good rates of pay, to include holiday pay and descretionary bonus scheme.

Your own transport is essential, as you would be working independently in the community. A DBS enhanced check is required, and we will meet the cost of this. Uniforms and full training will be provided.

To apply please telephone 01444 455622 or email: miken@abbeycare.com 

Links - Telephone numbers

Health Promotion

Please use the links below for more information
Healthy Eating
Healthy Eating
Stop Smoking
Managing Incontinence
Strength and balance exercises for healthy ageing
Staying Steady
Maintaining a Healthy Body and Mind
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender. Planning for later life
Staying Cool in a Heatwave
Winter Wrapped Up
Fitter Feet
Caring for your Eyes

Voluntary Groups

Please use the links below for more information
Good Neighbours CARE
Neighbourly Care
Befriending Service from The Red Cross
British Red Cross
Befriending Services
Age UK - Burgess Hill
Age UK - Haywards Heath

Specialist Charities

Multiple Sclerosis Society mssociety.org.uk
Alzheimer’s Society alzheimers.org.uk
Dementia dementia.org
Cancer macmillan.org.uk
Parkinsons parkinsons.org.uk
The Stroke Association stroke.org.uk
Mind (better mental health) mind.org.uk
Osteoporosis nos.org.uk
Coronary Heart Disease bhf.org.uk
Arthritis arthritis.org
Hearing actiononhearingloss.org.uk
Motor Neurone Disease mndassociation.org
Diabetes diabetes.org.uk
Respiratory blf.org.uk
Liver britishlivertrust.org.uk
Kidney kidney.org.uk

Useful Telephone Numbers

NHS non-emergency 111
Police non-emergency 101
Princess Royal Hospital 01444 441881
Royal Sussex County Hospital 01273 696955
Kleinwort Centre 01444 445600
St Peter and St James Hospice 01444 471598
OneCall 01293 228311
Bluebird Community Transport 01444 471919
Proactive Care Team (HH) 01444 475815
Proactive Care Team (BH) 01444 238877
Wheelchair Service 01403 22700 ext 7160
Patient Transport 0300 7772131
NRS (Equipment) 0845 1272931
Emergency Dentist 01444 440695
Care Quality Commission 03000 616161
Action on Elder Abuse 080 88088141
Victim Support 0808 1689111
Independent Mental Capacity Advocate Service 01273 666950
Age UK 01903 731800
Emergency Respite Service (Crossroads) 01903 790270
Carers Support West Sussex 0300 0288888
First Stop Advice 0800 3777070

Contact Us

Please use the form below to contact us via email or Call us on: 01444 455622

Privacy Policy - Privacy Statement

Click here to view Clients Privacy Statement

Introduction & Our Details

Abbey Care. For data protection purposes we are the ‘data controller’ of the personal data that you give us.

Our contact details are: Tel: 01444 455622

Our Commitment to You

We are committed to protecting your privacy and to complying with the data protection /GDPR laws in the UK.  In consequence, we collect the minimum amount of information about you that is commensurate with providing you with a satisfactory service.

What is the purpose and legal basis for us to collect and process your personal data?

The main purpose is to identify our customers to enable us to deliver to you the services that you buy from us and to provide you with any follow-up that is required.  We also have to retain records of all our transactions for tax and accounting reasons.

In addition, as long as you freely give us your consent, we may send you by post/email/text, newsletters and information concerning our products and activities including special offers and details of new services.

What personal data will be collected and processed?

Depending on the type of transaction you enter into, this may include your name, address, telephone number, and email address.

Who will receive your personal data?

We will receive your personal data on our website which is kept on a secure server in the UK where all personal data is encrypted.

We do not give anyone else access to personal data unless we are required to by law or the access is for our own team performing their services for our website, all of whom are subject to confidentiality obligations. If we wish to process your personal data for purposes other than those specified in this notice, we will notify you with relevant information and, if necessary, seek your consent.

How long will we keep your personal data?

We need to keep customer details for at least 6 full tax years under the UK tax laws.  After that, until you ask us in writing to delete your personal data, we will keep it to enable us to contact you as mentioned earlier in this notice.

Use of Cookies

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Cookies are small files saved to the user’s computers hard drive that track, save and store information about the user’s interactions and usage of the website. This allows the website, through its server to provide the users with a tailored experience within this website.

Users are advised that if they wish to deny the use and saving of cookies from this website on to their computers hard drive they should take necessary steps within their web browsers security settings to block all cookies from this website and its external serving vendors.

This website may use tracking software to monitor its visitors to better understand how they use it. This software is provided by Google Analytics which uses cookies to track visitor usage. The software will save a cookie to your computers hard drive in order to track and monitor your engagement and usage of the website, but will not store, save or collect personal information. You can read Google’s privacy policy here for further information [ http://www.google.com/privacy.html ].