THE SPADEWORK has started on a multi-million pound plan to transform social care for people living with dementia in Liverpool.
Earthmovers are in at two sites in the city as part of a £30 million plan to create new living spaces and care hubs. The services will be managed by health and social care provider, Shaw healthcare, in a contract signed with the city council for 25 years.
Work has begun on the site of the new £7.8m Dementia Hub on South Parade in Speke and at the proposed £8.2m Venmore Dementia Centre on Hartnup Street, Everton.
Each centre will provide 60 bed spaces, along with state-of-the-art care facilities for people with dementia and other long-term residential and nursing care needs. They will also feature en-suite bedrooms, areas for therapy and socialising, dining facilities and gardens. A planning application has been submitted for a third dementia hub in Stonebridge.
Work has also begun on a £5.1m new 35-bed stroke facility at Townsend Lane, Tuebrook. This centre replaces an existing one at Hartnup Street, which is being relocated to make way for the Venmore Centre.
At the same time, building work has now completed at Besford House in Belle Vale. The hub, which provides accommodation for adults with learning disabilities, has undergone an £900,000 makeover. Improvements include decorating, new carpets and flooring, new bathroom suites, kitchens and furniture.
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, Cllr Paul Brant, said: “The hubs will enable us to deliver a flexible service, tailored to the needs of the individual service-user.
“Our step-up, step-down approach means that the hubs can be used to support people with a lower level of need who would otherwise end up in hospital, as well as providing intermediate care to help get people out of hospital quicker.
“They will help reduce the number of people unnecessarily delayed in hospital following NHS treatment by getting and improve their experience of health and social care services by driving up quality standards.”
The city council already spends almost £50 million a year on residential and nursing care, plus a further £11 million on dementia and memory loss services. It has shielded social care as much as it can from the cuts in its funding from central Government since 2010.
This is against a backdrop of rising demand and a projected reduction in council budgets of £444m between 2010 and 2020.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “This is an exciting development which sees our plans to transform social care for people in our city begin to take shape. These new buildings will provide our service-users with the modern facilities they deserve. The facilities we are creating will help ease pressure on other areas of the NHS which are under constant strain such as hospitals where beds are far more costly. Importantly, they will save the public purse money by ensuring that people aren’t tying up more expensive hospital beds.”
Shaw healthcare will develop skills and training programmes in conjunction with local colleges, work with Job Centre Plus to offer local employment opportunities, create work placements and apprenticeships across all facilities and deliver on a commitment to the procurement of goods and services through local companies. The project is likely to create more than 200 jobs as staff will be newly-employed rather than being transferred from existing council services.
Shaw’s deputy CEO, Suzanne Hughes, said: “We’re excited to be working with Liverpool City Council to deliver high-quality, specialist and sustainable care services across the city. The three new dementia hubs – with a mix of short and long term beds – will provide modern, 21st century accommodation that will enable elderly and vulnerable residents to enjoy the best possible quality of life. In line with our core values, we are keen for all three hubs to become pivotal parts of their respective communities.”
She added: “In expanding our operations into Northwest England, Shaw healthcare will build on our 30 years of experience of operating a wide range of social services right across the UK, for people with a variety of different needs. We are confident that these projects in Liverpool will add to Shaw healthcare’s proud history of, and commitment to, providing the very best services for our service users.”