Suffolk County Council’s vision for the future of older people’s care came a step closer to fulfilment this week with a ceremony marking Care UK’s completion of the roof and main building work at Asterbury Place care home and wellbeing centre in Ipswich.
Asterbury Place on Aster Road in the Chantry area of Ipswich is the first of ten new care homes and wellbeing centres which will provide much needed additional nursing and dementia care in the county as part of a three year £60 million investment by Care UK, who were selected by Suffolk County Council in April 2012 to help it meet the rising demand for older people’s care. The numbers of older people aged over 75 with dementia in Suffolk are expected to grow by nearly 100% between now and 2030, from 8,600 to 17,000.
Councillor Alan Murray, Cabinet Member of Health and Adult Care, said: “It is fantastic that this new home has taken shape so quickly. I cannot wait to see the first residents move in and benefit from all the new home has to offer. The development of these new facilities will help to ensure that those who are in need of long term care can receive it in high quality facilities.”
It is important that residents are involved in this next stage of the development; making the new building into a home. I look forward to seeing the other homes taking shape across the county over the coming years.”
Chris Hopkinson, Care UK’s Regional Operations Director, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Suffolk County Council and mark this important milestone in the three year development plan. The next step will be to work with our construction partner Castleoak to complete Asterbury Place by equipping and furnishing it to the very highest standards, ready to welcome the first residents and customers of the new day care services in summer 2014.”
A small group of residents from nearby Hawthorn Drive and Angel Court in Hadleigh, which were formerly run by Suffolk County Council and have been operated by Care UK since 1st December 2012, attended the topping out event to get a first look at how their new home is taking shape. Residents from both these homes will have the opportunity to move into Asterbury Place when it opens, after which the existing homes, which are over fifty years old, will close. The sites will be returned to Suffolk County Council.
Asterbury Place, which is on the former site of Chantry Junior School, will provide residential and 24 hour nursing care and has 80 spacious ensuite bedrooms designed for safety and accessibility. The bedrooms are positioned in groups of twenty with their own dining and generous living areas. There is also a small hairdressing salon, cinema and café, a central courtyard and landscaped gardens with a variety of areas.
The new wellbeing centre will provide day clubs and activities which are fun and informal for older people living locally, helping them maintain their independence and providing valuable respite for family carers. Care UK hopes local people will help shape the services according to the local community’s needs and these could include being open seven days per week, specialist services for those with dementia and other progressive illnesses.
As well as Asterbury Place, construction has begun on three further new care homes and wellbeing centres for Mildenhall (Mildenhall Lodge at Great Heath), in Bury St Edmunds (to replace Davers Court on the same site) and in Lowestoft, where Britten Court is being built on the former Roman Hill Primary School site.
Planning permission has also been granted for the redevelopment of Mills Meadow in Framlingham, the new home and wellbeing centre for Haverhill (on the Chalkestone Middle School site), and a second development for Ipswich at Alnesbourn Crescent in Ravenswood, where work will begin in November.
Care UK has also submitted planning applications for new developments in Stowmarket (at Cedars Park) and in Eye (adjacent to Hartismere Health and Care) and a second new home and wellbeing centre are planned for Bury St Edmunds (to replace the existing Glastonbury Court), for which a planning application will be made in the coming weeks.
For more information on Asterbury Place or other Care UK developments across Suffolk visit: www.careuk.com/suffolk-new-homes or call 0333 321 0956.