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Ground-breaking work begins in Ipswich to fulfil the vision for older people’s care in the county

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Care UK and Suffolk County Council have marked the beginning of a county-wide programme of investment in new care homes and wellbeing centres with a ceremony on site at the first development to get underway at Aster Road in Chantry, Ipswich.

Councillor Alan Murray, Suffolk County Council’s newly appointed cabinet member for health and adult care, Toby Siddall, managing director of Residential Care Services at Care UK and Frances Gibson, director of nursing, clinical and care governance at Care UK, were joined by pupils from nearby The Oaks Primary School for the ground breaking ceremony.

The event marked not only the start on site for the first of two new homes and wellbeing centres in Ipswich but also the beginning of Care UK’s £60 million investment into 10 new care homes and wellbeing centres across the county.

Toby Siddall, managing director of Residential Care Services at Care UK, said: We are very pleased to have started building our first new care home and wellbeing centre in Suffolk.  This is the first in a carefully coordinated and phased programme in partnership with Suffolk County Council, to fulfil the vision for older people’s care.”

Cabinet member for health and adult care at Suffolk County Council, Alan Murray, said: “This marks the start of us delivering on our promise to Suffolk residents; to ensure the county has purpose built, 21st century facilities that support people in delivering high quality care to the most vulnerable in society.”

Councillor Murray continued: “It is great that pupils at The Oaks Primary School will be using the development to support their learning and that this will be shared with residents when they move into their new home.” 

The event also launched Care UK’s partnership with local primary school, The Oaks. Care UK and headteacher, Mr Jeremy Pentreath, have organised for the children to conduct regular visits to the site to work on a project which fits their curriculum. The students will showcase their work at the new care home once it is opened. 

Jeremy Pentreath, headteacher at The Oaks Primary School said: “This is an exciting moment for the school and its community. The children have watched the diggers in awe and we look forward to a long and productive partnership with Care UK.”

Care UK received the go-ahead from Ipswich Borough Council’s Planning and Development Control Committee in January and the new care home and wellbeing centre is due for completion in summer 2014. Construction partner for Care UK on the Aster Road site and the other nine developments in Suffolk is Castleoak, a highly regarded company that works exclusively in the care sector.

The design of the new care home, which will provide nursing care and specialist dementia care services, is spacious, light and airy, with many communal areas for residents to meet with family, friends and fellow residents. The generously sized bedrooms are all en-suite with shower facilities and to give a homely feel, small groups of residents will share their own dining room and lounge. The new home also has a garden and outside sitting area and attractive facilities including a café and hairdressers on the ground floor and small cinema on the upper floor.

The wellbeing centre will provide day care activities and clubs which will help older people to maintain their independence for longer in their own homes and give valuable respite services for family carers. Additional health and therapy services will be shaped with input from the local community.

Residents of the nearby Hawthorn Drive residential home and Angel Court in Hadleigh will have the choice to move into the new bespoke care home.  Once all residents have moved from Angel Court in Hadleigh and Hawthorn Drive in Chantry these two homes will close.

By 2016 the new homes and wellbeing centres will replace all Suffolk County Council’s former homes and wellbeing centres which date mainly from the 1960s and 1970s.

For further information see or call 0333 321 0956.

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