THE first images of what people can expect from South Tyneside’s state-of-the-art centre for integrated health and social care have been released.
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust is building the £9m facility - understood to be the biggest of its kind in the UK - on behalf of South Tyneside Council.
The Foundation Trust has appointed P+HS Architects to work on the design of the building, which will house a range of health and social care services for older people – and particularly those with dementia.
The latest visualisations show how the modern, welcoming building in the grounds of South Tyneside District Hospital could look.
The designs feature a gym, light-filled dining and social areas, small cosy spaces for quiet times and safe access to landscaped gardens.
Spacious en-suite bedrooms offer nursing and residential options for short stay rehabilitation, pre-bookable respite or ‘time to think’ as well as longer term care.
The 80 bedrooms are designed in small clusters around open plan living, dining and sitting areas, creating a homely environment.
Mini kitchens add to the familiar feel, allowing residents and visitors to make drinks and snacks.
For those choosing to be cared for longer term, the emphasis is on the provision of a ‘home’ rather than a ‘care home’.
With a 50 per cent increase in cases of dementia predicted for South Tyneside by 2030 – the hub is a major part of the council’s response to the borough’s ageing population and increasing numbers of people with dementia.
Coun Mary Butler, lead member for adult social care and support services at South Tyneside Council, said: “Our aim from the very start of this project was to provide a focal point where older people and their families and carers will be able to receive all the support and advice they need under one roof.
“I look forward to seeing this project come to life over the coming months and enhancing the quality of life for older people in the borough.”
Steve Williamson, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s chief operating officer, said: “We are very excited about the hub which will, undoubtedly, be a marvellous asset to the borough.
“It is fantastic to be able to give the public some idea through these latest visualisations of how the new building will look and what it will offer.”
Derek Shepherd of P+HS Architects said: “Our brief was to consider the crossing of boundaries between acute, primary, social and mental healthcare.
“The philosophy of the building design was always ‘how could the building suit the integration of multiple clinical needs rather than providing individual services in a single facility?’.
“Working with multiple stakeholders from the NHS and local council departments provided an exciting and challenging process, which will provide a unique focal landmark for the people of South Tyneside.”
P+HS managing director Joe Biggs added: “Over the past 25 years we have been at the forefront of innovation, delivering many radical and unique design solutions.
“Recently these schemes have delivered facilities that promote joined-up thinking between health and social care providers together with other agencies including the private sector.
“This highly-innovative scheme at South Tyneside represents a dramatic move towards a fully-integrated care hub that will deliver good value for money, as well as high-quality care.”