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10 October 2018

Keys handed over in Stirling Health & Care Village

Keys handed over in Stirling Health & Care Village

A young trainee site manager had the honour of handing over the keys for the new Bellfield Centre, marking the completion of another hub project.

Kieran Day, a 21 year old trainee with Robertson, was one of hundreds of construction staff involved in building the flagship Centre which forms part of the new £37m Stirling Health and Care Village.

The new Centre will provide short-term care, assessment or rehabilitation for older people who require additional support following an illness or operation. Services will be provided in a warm, welcoming and comfortable environment to help older people recover, regain their independence and, in the majority of cases, return to their own homes. The Centre, which will have the capacity to care for 116 people across 4 short-stay areas (Thistle, Wallace, Argyll & Castle Suites), will also provide support for people with dementia and those who need palliative or end of life care. In addition, it will have a café, hairdresser, retail space, landscaped areas and a multipurpose area which can be used by local community groups and volunteers.

Considerable efforts have been made to ensure the new purpose-built facility meets the needs of older people, including those with dementia. Architects have used the surrounding landscape to create a feeling of wellbeing, introduced social areas to encourage greater interaction and used specific colours and design features to help wayfinding.

Key design features include:-

  • Green spaces – a village green, landscaping with new planting and trees, therapeutic courtyard gardens, roof terraces enclosed with special safety balustrades which offer access to outdoor spaces and fresh air from upper floors, raised planters for gardening and walkways to nearby woodland.
  • Entrance plazas and social areas, including communal dining areas, to encourage greater interaction and provide spaces for gathering and activities.
  • Design and wayfinding – en-suite rooms to maintain dignity and privacy which can be adapted to suit individual needs, use of colour, contrast, signage, acoustics and lighting to support wayfinding and create a stimulating, warm and comforting environment
  • Inside spaces with reminiscence and memorabilia resources

Shiona Strachan, Chief Officer of the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership, said: "The number of people affected by dementia is set to double in the next 25 years and it is estimated that, at any one time, up to one in four people undergoing short stay assessment will experience some form of dementia. It is with these figures in mind that we have worked closely with the architects to make sure that this important new development is designed to be dementia-friendly at every level to help meet the increasing demands of an ageing population and set new standards for dementia friendly design."

The handover of the keys marks the completion of the build phase and will enable health and council staff to fit out and equip the care areas, offices and communal areas over the next few months. Services will then transfer across from existing inpatient wards at Stirling Community Hospital and a number of short-term care and assessment facilities run by Stirling Council.

The Bellfield Centre will be the second new facility to be completed on the Care Village site as the new GP & Minor Injuries Centre and local ambulance station opened in August 2018. The remaining ambulance vehicle workshop is scheduled for completion in 2019.

Alex Linkston, Chair of NHS Forth Valley, said: "This is a fantastic new facility which will provide light, bright and comfortable surroundings to help people recover, regain their independence and, in many cases, return to live in their own homes."

Stirling Council leader, Councillor Scott Farmer said: "This new centre will make a significant contribution to the development of local health and social care services in Stirling. Great work has gone into its design to provide a sensitive and caring environment where we can deliver the necessary care for local service users."

Gary Bushnell, Chief Executive, hub East Central Scotland, said: "We have worked closely with all of the partners involved to successfully complete the construction of the new Bellfield Centre on time and on budget. We are delighted to deliver such a high quality facility which has been built to meet the specific needs of patients and staff and also support the delivery of first class care in Stirling."

The new Stirling Health and Care Village is a joint venture between Stirling Council, NHS Forth Valley, the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Integration Joint Board and the Scottish Ambulance Service. Forth Valley College is also involved including plans to offer local young people a range of training and volunteering opportunities within the new Health and Care Village.

The Village will also support the integration of local health and social care services, making it easier for staff to work together to deliver better co-ordinated, more joined up care to local people – a key aim of the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership.