£1.4m Boost For Wiltshire Care Home

WILTSHIRE County Council has won £1.4m to build extra care housing aimed at helping the elderly and those with long-term conditions.

The money will go towards a building in Trowbridge that will be on the site of the existing Rutland House residential home. This £8.1m project will provide care for 90 people.

The scheme has been jointly commissioned by Wiltshire County Council and Wiltshire Primary Care Trust. The other project partners are West Wiltshire District Council, Orders of St John Care Trust and Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association.

The partners undertook extensive research so that the scheme got the right mix of accommodation tenure, access and eligibility.

The £1.4m grant from the Department of Health was dependent on the scheme meeting a number of requirements including a provision of flats with one double bedroom each. This is so that couples could be housed together and demonstrates a commitment to ensuring the dignity of residents.

The proposed scheme would see 45 two-bedroom flats constructed on the site.

The home also had to make use of the latest technology to support residents to live independently.

Following an expert assessment, additions will be based on individual needs and devices can be added where needed. These might include pressure mats, detectors, such as on fridge or front doors to check if they are open, and electronic prompts such as reminding people about taking medication.

These devices will be linked to the on-site staff, or during off-peak hours to on-call staff.

It is hoped that the building will be completed by 2010 and fully occupied by 2011. Work is ongoing to offer the remaining residents of Rutland House, which provides accommodation for adults with learning disabilities, alternative accommodation that meets their needs.

John Thompson, Wiltshire County Council’s cabinet member for community services, said: “This scheme has come about in response to extensive consultation with older people who emphasised the importance of having choice and greater opportunities to remain in their own communities.

“The development of extra care in Trowbridge will offer an opportunity not previously available to remain in their own homes in their community.

“The funding from the Department of Health is hugely significant because it gives a stamp of approval to our approach to providing the best extra care we can and provide people with a life rather than a service.”

Sally Sandcraft, Wiltshire PCT’s Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals, said: “We’re delighted that the proposed scheme has been successful in attracting the grant for this development, this is an inspirational project offering a new dimension in choice and dignity for older people.”