About Us

Colten Care is a family-owned, independent, award-winning care home provider founded in Lymington in 1981. We provide nursing, residential and dementia care with a difference, and in more than 40 years in the industry, we’ve built an outstanding reputation thanks to our amazing people and our focus on keeping residents at the heart of all we do.

We’re renowned for our uncompromising commitment to quality, from the truly great people who care for our residents to the outstanding care facilities, interiors and gardens that make each home a real ‘home from home.’

We employ our own nurses 24 hours a day, seven days a week in every home, because the safety and comfort of our residents has always been our priority. Our nurses oversee residents’ care, making sure the individualised care we promise is being delivered.

We ensure life in a Colten Care home is a life lived well, where residents are treated as individuals by a compassionate and caring team, and supported with everything they need to live fulfilled and meaningful lives.

We design, build and operate our care homes to the highest quality standards, making us exceptional in the care home market. We have 21 beautiful nursing and dementia care homes in Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and West Sussex.

We’re proud to have been rated in the Top 20 care home providers in the UK for the last eight years , and seven of our homes are rated ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC, our national regulator, with all others rated ‘Good.’

Residents and their loved ones choosing care can have peace of mind that there are care homes, and then there are Colten Care homes.

Text with '40 Years of Excellence | Established 1981'
Logo award from review site, carehome.co.uk, for Top 20 care home group given to Colten Care in 2023.
Care Awards award winner in 2022.

Our Story

How It Began

Two Families, One Vision

Colten Care has a rich history that dates back over four decades. The name “Colten” is a combination of our founders’ surnames: John Colwell and Adrian Otten. Founding the company in 1981, they set out with a vision to set the highest standards in care.

Monmouth House, our first home in Lymington, opened its doors in the early 80s. Next we purchased two luxurious residential homes in the New Forest in the mid to late 80s, undertaking extensive renovations and repurposing so they would meet our high standards for care.

Setting New Standards

Building Quality Care Homes That Feel Like Home

The first home we designed and built was Avon Reach in Mudeford in 1994, and since then we have built all our homes to exacting standards, tailored to meet the needs of our residents.

Our design and development philosophy is to create care homes that are warm and welcoming, and feel like homes themselves. To achieve this, each building is created with its own distinct style that blends seamlessly with the local community, while reflecting the character of its residents and staff.

We now have 21 beautiful homes across the south, with the latest being Bourne View in Poole, Dorset.

Nursing Excellence

The Heart Of Care Across Our Homes

With a history spanning several decades, Colten Care has become a trusted name in the care industry. Our commitment to providing exceptional care and support for our residents is at the heart of everything we do.

Through our years of experience, we have developed a deep understanding of the needs of our residents, and we strive to provide them with the highest quality of life possible.

We believe that nursing excellence is crucial to meeting the care needs of our residents today, tomorrow and in the future. What sets us apart from other care providers is that we employ highly skilled nurses in our homes who are available for residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We invest in regular training and provide nurses with around-the-clock on-call support from other Colten Care Clinical/ Quality experts.

Colten Developments

Your Quality Builder For Life

Colten Developments is our sister company and development arm, founded by John and Adrian in 1971. Together, they combined their vast experience in civil engineering and construction to form a company that would later grow into one of the leading developers in the South of England.

Over the years, Colten Developments has played a significant role in the growth and success of Colten Care. The company has designed and constructed every care home for Colten Care since 1994, ensuring that each one is purpose-built to the highest standards of quality and safety.

In addition to building exceptional care homes, Colten Developments also develops luxury residential properties that are designed with the same attention to detail and quality as their care homes.

Our Mission

“To be the care provider of choice and employer of choice in the South.”

We’re a family business with a strong family ethos central to everything we do. To us, that means only the best is good enough. We’re committed to setting the highest standards in individual, person-centred elderly care so that our residents, their families, and our staff can have peace of mind knowing they’ve made the right choice in Colten Care.


Colten Care was built on core values that still guide us from the very heart of our business today. Our values shape the company culture and play out in our home every day through meaningful, heartfelt interactions between staff, residents and family members.

We Are Friendly

A warm welcome starts with a smile and making sure there is time for our residents. As we get to know them better, we will continue to show respect, being approachable at all times. We will do our best to keep residents smiling and, when it is appropriate, encourage them to laugh!

We are Kind

Kindness is all about treating people as you wish to be treated yourself. It means being considerate and supportive of each other, taking an interest in how people are feeling, showing good manners and behaving in an appropriate and respectful way.

We are Individual

Residents want those who care for them to be genuinely interested in them, their life, their talents and interests. We are all unique and deserve to have a voice. We recognise each of our members of staff and residents as an individual.

We are Reassuring

Someone who is reassured knows they are in safe hands. They have trust and confidence in the people who support them. We want our residents to know they are listened to and that we will act on what they say. We embrace the highest standards in everything we do so we can provide a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction in each and every role.

We are Honest

Honesty involves a willingness to take responsibility and be accountable for your actions. Sincere people are not afraid to say, ‘I don’t know but I’ll find out’. It means operating in a fair and equitable way, being realistic, and putting up your hands and saying sorry when you have made a mistake.

Our Leadership Team

Our senior leadership team ensures hundreds of residents across 21 care homes receive the highest standards of care every day and are enabled to live the most fulfilling lives possible. To achieve that, the team works hard to attract and retain the most talented and committed people in our multi-award-winning, near 2,000-strong workforce.

John Colwell – Co-Founder

John founded Colten Care in 1981 with his friend and business partner Adrian Otten (1940-2021) 10 years after they founded Colten Developments, our sister company and development arm. From the outset, John and Adrian were united in their vision for Colten Care in that the company would aspire not to be the biggest care group, nor the most profitable, but to provide the highest level of care to our residents within modern and well-maintained homes. In meeting this aim, a successful family business has been established which will remain as a ‘family-run’ entity for generations to come. John remains fully involved with the company as part of the senior leadership team.

Rick Otten – Co-Chairman

Our family ethos is central to our aim of being the best. Since joining the business in 2001, a key focus for Rick has been to keep that ethos at the forefront of all we do across the business. As an independent, family-owned provider, we continue to build on our solid foundations for the provision of care, expanding our facilities, adopting leading-edge building design and equipping our staff to give the highest standards of person-centred care.

George Colwell – Co-Chairman

Colten Care is an operator that builds its own homes, making us exceptional in the care home market. George leads the construction teams responsible for the development of new homes and is in charge of our £2 million annual investment programme devoted to refurbishment and maintenance. After a Construction degree from University College London, George worked on several major developments in the Capital including the BBC Media Village and the Westfield Shopping Centre. He joined Colten in 2008.

Mark Aitchison – CEO & Finance Director

Mark as CEO leads the board and as Finance Director is also responsible for all financial aspects. He drives our mission: 1-2-1 – we are “One Team” with two objectives – to be the care provider of choice and employer of choice – and one goal, our residents and the care they receive. That defines and shapes all that we do. Mark is also the Responsible Individual to the CQC, so he is actively involved in all regulatory matters.

Elaine Farrer – Chief Operating Officer

A qualified nurse, Elaine has spent her entire 40-year career in healthcare, with more than 20 years in care homes. She joined Colten Care in 2014 and is focused on making sure the resident is at the very heart of everything we do under our “All About Me” philosophy of care. Elaine is responsible for all operational matters that guide company compliance with CQC, continually reviewing and assessing our standards to drive forward quality and service delivery.

Ian Hudson – Non-Executive Director

Ian has more than 30 years’ experience in the care industry. He has seen Colten Care grow from two homes to 21 and he was Managing Director for 25 years. Ian has always shared John and Adrian’s vision for Colten Care and the highest levels of care provided.

Central Support Centre

Support Is Never Far Away

We have a large Support Centre and warehouse based in Ringwood, Hampshire, home to almost 100 staff from maintenance to IT, Learning & Development to Hotel Services.

The central location means we are able to provide invaluable support to all our homes and are never more than an hour away, enabling the home teams to focus on delivering the best possible care and quality of life to residents every day.

Caring For Our Planet

We’re on a sustainability journey that we know will be both challenging and rewarding. We believe that every small step we take towards a more sustainable future counts, and we are determined to make a positive impact in the world. Our efforts include reducing our carbon footprint, minimising waste, and sourcing local produce wherever possible.

Reducing Carbon Emissions

Helping Slow The Rate Of Climate Change

We’re actively engaging to identify our carbon emissions from heating and hot water, purchased electricity and gas consumed by Colten Care, and all other indirect emissions such as water usage, waste, business travel, commuting, food, procurement and purchasing. We have two current projects that are helping us achieve this goal.

Our first project involves the installation of Solar Photovoltaic Systems at several of our care homes, including The Aldbury, Brook View, Kingfishers, and Fernhill. With these new systems, we now have a total of seven solar PV systems across our estate. Together, they generate 375,000 kWh of electricity per year, which is equivalent to one-quarter of the total electrical consumption of the seven homes.

By using solar energy instead of fossil fuels, we have saved a combined 147,000 kg of CO2 emissions per year. That’s the same as planting over 1700 trees every year!

Caring Without Plastic

Saving Energy On Production And Waste Management

We are committed to caring for our planet as well as our residents. That’s why we have made a pledge to reduce our plastic consumption across all areas of our operations, including catering, gardening, administration, and maintenance.

Our residents, staff, and families all share our concerns about the environment, and we are determined to do our part in addressing the growing problem of plastic pollution.

To achieve this goal, we have implemented a range of initiatives throughout our care homes. For example, we have replaced all plastic recycling sacks at our head office with reusable fabric ones, which saves 2,880 plastic sacks every year. Our residents have also made the switch from plastic to biodegradable straws, which saves a staggering 499,000 plastic straws each year. Additionally, our gardening teams have taken steps to reduce their use of plastic, with all plant pots now being recycled at local nurseries.

Reducing Chemical Use

Protecting Health And Biodiversity

One of our key initiatives is reducing the use of chemicals in our gardens. We understand that traditional gardening practices that rely heavily on chemicals can have negative impacts on the environment and human health.

To address this issue, we have switched to using organic bug controls, which provide a natural and effective alternative to chemical pesticides.

We have also adopted the use of peat-free compost, which is a sustainable alternative to traditional compost and helps reduce the environmental impact of gardening practices. Additionally, we are trialling organic weed killers, which offer a safe and effective alternative to traditional chemical herbicides.


Whether you’d like an initial chat about the care we provide, you have a question about our all-inclusive fees, or you’d like more information about one of our beautiful homes, we’re here to help.