Newman Court Extra-Care development officially opened
Monday, 03 December 2012
Another major milestone in Hampshire County Council's investment in modern, high quality housing for older people was marked on Friday 30 November with the official opening of Newman Court Extra-Care scheme in Basingstoke.
Jeremy Porteus, Director of the Housing Learning and Improvement Network, opened housing association Saxon Weald's £11.8 million Extra-Care development, the result of a joint initiative between the County Council, Saxon Weald, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and the Department of Health.
A state-of-the-art facility for older people, Newman Court provides 64 apartments -17 one bed and 47 two bed apartments. For the first time in a Hampshire County Council Extra-Care scheme, people also have the opportunity to 'buy in' with 30 of the 64 apartments being available for purchase on a shared equity basis. Having a home with their own front door gives elderly residents more independence, as they can come and go as they please but with the reassurance that care and support is on hand when they need it.
Newman Court is one of four developments in the first phase of Extra-Care, ahead of a further £45 million investment announced by Hampshire County Council to create partnership opportunities to stimulate more schemes over the next eight years. The Day Centre at Newman Court will also be officially opened on 30 November.
Councillor Ken Thornber, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said: "This is the fourth development in the first phase of our investment in Extra-Care facilities and marks real progress in transforming the way we now care for older people.
"As people are living longer, their needs and aspirations are changing, so we need to ensure the care we provide is fit for the future. More and more residents are telling us they want choice and to live independently for as long as possible, but with care there for them when they need help.
"With more older people having the choice to live in their own high quality home, and couples able to stay together without one of them having to go into a residential home, the demand for traditional care homes is decreasing. The investment in Extra-Care will allow us to support hundreds of residents to live the way they want to. This is also another good example of the way we are putting our reserves to one-off uses to fund the cost of restructuring and transforming the way services are delivered.
"Strategies such as this are helping us to build the resilience we need to guard against reducing levels of public sector funding in the face of rising demand for care services and in doing so, position the County Council to provide the best value and the best outcomes for Hampshire people in future years."
Saxon Weald's Chief Executive, David Standfast, said: "We are delighted to have worked with Hampshire County Council and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to produce such a fantastic example of high-quality housing for older people with care and support needs. It's great to be part of such a good news story about how people can live comfortably, safely and securely in their later years."
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Partnerships Councillor Cathy Osselton, said: "Newman Court is a wonderful facility that meets the needs of those older residents in our borough who want to live in well-designed housing but remain independent for longer. The Newman Court project is a such a positive example of how the council works with our other partners to deliver joined up responses to benefit the community."
Safety is also a high priority at Newman Court. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service Chief officer, John Bonney said: "I am delighted with the foresight of Hampshire County Council and Saxon Weald in protecting residents by installing a sprinkler system into Newman Court. Protecting residents now and in the future is a priority for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service as care needs increase and mobility decreases. Sprinklers may be the only way to safeguard people as their ability to self evacuate decreases. Only a few days ago an elderly gentleman was seriously injured in a care home because he was unable to self evacuate. A sprinkler in all probability could have controlled the fire before it took hold and injured the gentleman."
Helping older people to live well and independently for as long as possible is one of Hampshire County County's top priorities. The County Council works with partners to provide a wide range of information, advice and support for older people to help delay or prevent the need for intensive social care services, including ensuring the most cost effective types of care, such as Extra-Care Housing.
Newman Court is the fourth new scheme to open so far in Hampshire. The others are Lion Oak Court, Andover (52 units); Juniper Court, Gosport (50 units) and Campbell Place Fleet (74 units), representing a total capital commitment of £2.37 million from the County Council. Other existing sheltered housing schemes are being enhanced to become Extra-Care units in Andover, Basingstoke, Eastleigh, Winchester and Lymington. Apartments are primarily open to people who have been assessed as having care and housing needs and are available through tenancy, shared ownership or full ownership.
Residents have access to 24 hour flexible care and a range of communal areas where they can socialise, eat together or take part in organised activities. They include a restaurant, arts and crafts room, computer suite, hair salon and sensory gardens.
The successful partnerships formed around Extra-Care build on the unique £60m partnership Hampshire County Council developed with the NHS over the last decade to deliver 500 nursing home beds in ten state of the art homes across Hampshire for those who were too frail to be cared for at home. The County Council was the first to employ its own nurses and open nursing homes in partnership with the NHS.
Newman Court includes:
- one and two bedroom flats
- on-site care staff (24 hours / seven days a week), and a community alarm service
- lift, lounge, restaurant, laundry, guest facilities, garden, community centre, hobby room, activities room, cafe, shop, hairdressing salon, library, assisted bathing facility
- whole site accessible by wheelchair. Access to site fairly easy. Distances: bus stop 50 yards
- meals available (two course lunch and restaurant open daily for snacks etc).
- Pets welcome
Extra-Care, in partnership with housing providers, 11 district councils and the Homes and Communities Agency, is Hampshire County Council's response to the changing needs of an ageing population.
The Day Centre opened in March 2012. Operating on weekdays, the centre has up to 20 places a day. The activites at the centre are very much service user led. Service users work closely with the staff team to plan their activities. Theses are a mix of community based interests, such as outings to the museum, garden centres, lunches, trips to the coast and shopping trips and in-house activities, which include crafts, cookery, gardening and use of the IT suite.
The centre has been building links with the local community including a project with Hatch Warren Junior School to get the children involved in dementia awareness.
Jeremy Porteus, Director, Housing Learning and Improvement Network
Until recently, Jeremy Porteus was National Programme Lead for Housing at the Department of Health (DH), England, and directly responsible for the £227million Extra Care Housing capital grant programme (2002-2011).
Since leaving the DH, Jeremy founded the innovative 'Think Tank', the Housing Learning and Improvement Network, which brings together over 46,000 policy makers, commissioners and providers of housing, health and social care nationally to work closely together to test out new ideas and improve the housing with care choices for older people and those with a long term condition.
Jeremy is also Chairman of the Homes and Communities Agency's Vulnerable and Older People's Advisory Group (the government social housing investment body in England) and has recently completed a major report as Inquiry Secretary to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Housing and Care for Older People. He is author of the APPG Inquiry report, Living Well at Home, which made specific recommendations on partnership working and the emerging role of Health and Wellbeing Boards.