Council bosses in South Tyneside say the borough's new care centre for the elderly is on schedule.
The new £9million Integrated Care Services Hub, which will deliver a wide range of support and services for the borough’s ageing population – particularly those with dementia – is on schedule to be completed in late spring with services being offered from early summer.
The facility – which is expected to be the largest of its kind in the country when it opens – is being built by South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of South Tyneside Council.
Based in the grounds of South Tyneside District Hospital, the hub will provide residential, rehabilitation and respite care as well as information and advice to older people and their carers.
A key focus of the facility will be on enabling older people to live independently, with appropriate support, for as long as possible.
The design of the facility has been created to be flexible to cater for different clinical needs and for people with varying degrees of dementia.
Features will include “memory boxes” – a box of personal objects and mementoes - to help people find their rooms and stimulate memory and door viewers to allow a discreet method to view and be viewed by staff, providing a safe and secure environment. Colour schemes will help people find their way around and support independent living.
Councillor Mary Butler, lead member for adult social care and support services at South Tyneside Council, said: “It is wonderful to see this project come to life before our eyes. I’m delighted that the Hub is on track to be completed on schedule because this innovative facility will really enhance the lives of our older residents, their families and their carers.
“With a 50 per cent increase in cases of dementia across all ages predicted by 2030, this centre will transform the way we deliver services to an ageing population and ensure they receive the support and services they need in a timely and effective way.”
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust chief executive, Steve Williamson said: “We are very proud to be in the position of providing the Borough with what will be a centre of excellence for the future care and support of older people.
“I am delighted that construction work on this exciting development has so far gone according to schedule and we are very much looking forward to the time later this year when services in this fantastic facility will come on stream.”