Go ahead for new £9million care hub in South Shields

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A NEW £9million care hub providing health and social care services to South Tyneside’s older people, their carers and families has been given the green light.

South Tyneside Council’s Planning Committee approved plans from South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust to build the £9million facility – which is set to be the biggest of its kind in the UK – on a site at South Tyneside District Hospital.

The Integrated Care Services Hub will provide high quality support for older people, who currently represent 18 per cent of the Borough’s population, and particularly for those with dementia

Members heard that the new hub will provide 80 beds with around 30 older people living on the site and others accessing beds for short breaks when their carers are on holiday or before going back to live at home. The centre will provide information and advice to older people and their carers as well as help to use technological aids to support independent living. There will also be rooms for medical consultations and assessments of people’s needs.

Councillor Mary Butler, lead member for Adult Social Care and Support Services at South Tyneside Council, said: “This new facility will enable us to offer more support to the Borough’s older population to enable them to live independently in their community for as long as possible.

“By offering more joined-up services, we will be able to enhance the quality of life for our older people and those who care for them.”

She added: “We know that South Tyneside will see a 50 per cent increase in cases of dementia across all ages by 2030. This figure is predicted to increase to 138 per cent for those over 90 so being able to meet this growing need is critical.”

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s chief operating officer Steve Williamson said: “We are delighted that our plans for the integrated care hub for older people and their families and carers have been approved.

“We can now forge ahead with the development and realise our joint vision with the council and key health, social care and voluntary sector agencies of a centre of excellence, providing joined-up care for South Tyneside’s growing ageing population and increasing numbers of people with dementia.”

Construction of the new hub is due to start in February. It is expected to be open in early 2016.