Work to start on new community centres

Work is to start shortly on two multi-million pound specialist community care centres for older people in Derbyshire.

Derbyshire County Council has appointed Mansell Construction to develop the centres in Heanor and Darley Dale near Matlock at a cost of approximately £8million each.

Planning permission has already been granted for the new schemes on the former Florence Shipley home for older people site in Market Place, Heanor, and on land adjacent to the Whitworth Hospital in Darley Dale.

Potential developers had to meet a number of requirements set down by the council including best value for money and the ability to meet certain building specifications including dementia-friendly design.

Each of the new specialist community care centres will provide:

* 16 long-term residential care beds for older people – including specialist care for people with dementia

* 16 short-term residential care beds to help more people return home or stay at home – including respite care and rehabilitation

* day care – including activities aimed at older people to promote health and wellbeing such as chair-based exercise classes, themed sessions for people with dementia and their carers, support for carers, walking and dancing groups

* a health and wellbeing zone offering advice on health, diet, fitness and finance, including benefits.

There will also be a café/bistro, general meeting space and a hairdressing salon that will be open to the public.

Derbyshire County Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Greater Heanor member Councillor Paul Jones said: “We are pleased to announce that a developer has been appointed and work is now starting on both developments which will be purpose-built to meet the needs of older people for years to come.

“At each of the new centres the best quality accommodation, care and services will be available for local people.

“We have also ensured that along with this significant investment in the local economy the developer will recruit some of the workforce from the local area. This is a good example of our commitment to providing public sector services.”

These services will run alongside a strong, county council-run home care service so that people who choose to can stay living at home for as long as they are able to.

The new specialist community care centres in Heanor and Darley Dale will be in addition to two which are already open – The Staveley Centre and Oakland in Swadlincote.

It is hoped that the Darley Dale site will open by the end of 2014 and the Heanor site shortly afterwards in January 2015.