Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

St Peter’s House (Stromness)

Back Rd, Stromness, KW16 3DX. Telephone: 01856850271. Fax: 01856850663. Email St Peter's House

Update on progress of new St Peters House

Architects' plans for the new St Peters House will be on public display from August 25 until September 8, 2016 in the Stromness Warehouse Buildings and in the Council's Customer Services area in Kirkwall. The facility is planned to open in early 2019. The following image shows the architect's impression of the approach to front entrance of the new St Peters House. You can view the plans and images from the 'Related Downloads' section of this page.

Artist's impression of the new St Peters House


St Peter’s House is committed to creating a sensitive and caring culture based on empowerment where the well-being and quality of life for residents are of the utmost importance.

The staff group aim to be focused on the continuing and changing needs of residents supported by comprehensive and inclusive individual care plans. Care plans will be resident led with support from care staff, community nurses and other significant professionals together with families and where appropriate, friends. Care plans will recognise the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of residents as well as addressing residents’ cultural and social aspirations.

The philosophy of St Peter’s House recognises the five core values which underpin our practice, privacy, dignity, independence, choice and respect. St Peter’s House recognise the importance of a culture where residents feel safe and empowered in making representations and if necessary complaints about the care they receive and where residents’ views, opinions and wishes are valued. St Peter’s House is committed to the development of practice and procedures that protect residents.

About St Peter’s House

St Peter’s House was opened on Wednesday 12 June 1957 by the distinguished artist Stanley Cursiter, CBE, RSA Queen’s Limner in Scotland, who said when he opened St Peter’s House that nowhere is friendliness and neighbourliness more evident than in Orkney, so this home is an extension and broadening of this sense of friendliness for those that have grown old in the community.

Therefore we have a duty to promote this for the people who have had a long life, a great deal of experience and wisdom and deserve the Unit to be integrated with the life of the community.

Visitors are welcome at any time, we just ask that they sign in and out in the visitors book at reception in case of fire. Service Users are free to leave the building as you please, as long as you inform staff you are leaving (for health and safety purposes).

Family Atmosphere

Caring for our residents are like members of our own family, and indeed that is the test we constantly apply. ‘Would this be good enough for our Mother, Father, Grandmother, Grandfather?' If the answer if no, then it is not good enough for our residents and we would take immediate steps to improve things. So please don’t hesitate to let us know how our service is doing.


St Peter’s House is situated above the town of Stromness with views over the town, the harbour and across to Hoy.


St Peter’s House has 32 furnished single bedrooms many with full en-suite facilities. Twenty eight bedrooms for long term Service Users and 4 that are used for respite. This means that people can come to St Peter’s House for a few days or weeks as a short break. Respite rooms are all equipped with colour TV. Rooms which are not en-suite all have wash basins with other facilities adjacent. Residents are welcome and encouraged to bring personal items and furnishings for their rooms. Bedrooms are on the ground floor or on the first floor with easy access by stairs or lift.

The main lounge is located on the ground floor with views over the town and harbour. It is furnished with easy chairs and tables as well as being equipped with a TV, DVD player and an electric piano. In addition to central heating this room also has a coal fire for use in the winter months.

Residents may prefer to use the smaller quieter conservatory sitting room which has pleasant views of the gardens and also over the town and water towards Hoy and Gramesay. This room also has a TV.

In addition there are a number of areas around the home where seating is provided and the dining room which is open 24 hours, also has some comfortable seating and a stereo music system. Residents are able to smoke in a small sitting room on the first floor.

We have WIFI internet connection with several laptops available for use by residents. Emails and Skype give residents added independence to carry out day to day personal business such as online shopping, or to research their interests or reminisce.

Importantly, it gives residents another option for keeping in contact with friends and family off Orkney. Staff can also use it as a tool to engage residents and encourage them to take up new challenges. Staff will gladly assist in this for those residents with poor eyesight or for anyone who wishes them to help.

Meal Times and Nutrition

The dining room is opened 24 hours and in addition to main meals provides light meals, snacks and drinks day and night. Meals are served in the dining room or where requested. All meals can be kept until service users are ready to eat. Residents are thus free to choose their meals and meal times to suit themselves without being subject to any routine.  

Breakfast is served from 07:00 to 11:00. A cooked breakfast can be requested from 08:00.

Lunch is from 12:00 to 14:00 and there is a choice of courses.

Dinner is from 16:00 to 17:30.

Suppertime trolley goes around 18:30 to 19:00.

Hot and cold drinks are served throughout the day and are also available on request. There is a range of snacks available in the chiller in the dining room at all times. Service users may help themselves or request staff to help them. Fresh meat, bread, fruit and vegetables are purchased on a daily basis locally and are of the highest quality. Special preferences and diets will be gladly addressed and accommodated. A bar service is available in the evening.

Fresh, home cooked meals prepared by our cooks daily in the home, are among the things residents like best about St Peter’s House. Our beautiful restaurant-style dining serves delicious meals. Residents can enjoy full service or self-service if they prefer.

Daily Living Tasks

St Peter’s House has some basic routines but we try to make life as flexible as possible.

You choose when you want to get up or have a shower or bath.

Alcohol is allowed unless there are medical reasons it should not be.

We provide a laundry service (we would ask that your clothes are all labelled before arriving).

There is a pay phone available for use on the ground floor.

There is a safe in the office where residents may keep their money and valuables. Each bedroom has a locked drawer for valuables.

The staff are on duty 24 hours a day and are trained to look after your needs. They can assist you with bathing and using the toilet if you need help. Never be afraid to ask for help. There is a call system, which you can use to summon assistance should you need it. Staff will show you how to use it. Our domestic staff will keep your room clean and tidy and the laundry assistant will look after your clothing as required. 

We have two cats called Lord Peter Armstrong and Nush, and three hens as residents pets. During the warmer months residents enjoy our large walled garden with patio and croquet lawn. For avid book readers, we have a selection of large print books available. We also have the local paper and magazines and the Orkney Talking Newspaper weekly.

The hairdresser comes to St Peter’s House once a week, but if you prefer we can arrange to take you to a local hairdresser down the street.


Activities are available every day and Service Users are encouraged to keep up any outside interests. We run an activities club in the conservatory Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings 09:00 to 12:00 which has a programme of organised activities.

We offer residents things to do and things to look forward to, from current events, discussion groups to special parties and events. Arts and crafts, Wii games are offered to encourage extremity movement, dexterity and competition. Music performances or group sing-a-longs, movies, trips to town, exercise classes and bingo are available weekly or twice weekly. 

We offer regular bus trips, and sometimes lunch out. We also plan special outings like trips to local events, agricultural shows, shopping week etc. Special activities are provided on occasions such as Christmas, Bonfire Night, Burns Night by our Social Club.


A religious service is held at the St Peter’s House every Sunday afternoon. Three different parishes on a rotational basis take this weekly service.

Medical Services/Health Care

Residents at St Peter’s House have full access to all medical facilities. Community Nurses visit twice a week and can be contacted any other day if requested. As well as Doctors being on call, a weekly surgery is held at the home for residents. The home is also visited by the Chiropodist and Optician on a regular basis. Transport can also be provided for scheduled visits to outpatients clinics. Residents have the choice of self medicating if they wish, and on admission will be asked to complete a form stating their wishes in respect of this.


Small amounts of money (less than £100) can be deposited in St Peter’s House safe. The home cannot take responsibility for personal cash which residents hold themselves or amounts in excess of £100. We recommend that any significant amounts are left in the residents personal bank account. St Peter’s House makes no direct charges for any of the services we provide ourselves including transport.

Related Downloads