Cornwall Care, the not-for-profit charity that runs care homes and community services for more than 1,700 older people in Cornwall, aims to create an integrated care facility to replace two of its existing homes in the area, Trewartha and Headlands, which are now out-dated.
The plans, which have the backing of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust and the Department of Adult Care and Support at Cornwall Council, include a 72-bedroom care home with nursing, 26 extra care units to help people continue to live independent lives, and a community care hub for use by residents of St Ives and Carbis Bay.
The £12 million facility would employ around 100 staff.
Douglas Webb, Chief Executive of Cornwall Care said: “As a not-for-profit charity our priority has always been the provision of the highest quality of care to the people of Cornwall, and that means responding to the growing number of older people with increasingly complex care needs.
“We believe this new facility, which is built entirely around the needs of our clients, will set a benchmark for modern care standards by creating a superb environment for residents, their families and the wider community. We have consulted widely on our proposals and amended our earlier designs to take comments on board. We believe we’ve come up with an exemplar facility in modern, inspirational buildings that will meet a growing need in the community now and in the future.”
The plans have the support of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust, whose director of service improvement, Carol Williams, said: “The proposed development promises to be the foremost of its kind in Cornwall. Cornwall Care has designed this new home with clients with complex healthcare needs in mind. This is a much needed resource in the locality and a proper extension of their expertise. The extra care housing part of the proposal is also a very much needed resource in the county and this will enable older people with some care needs to remain independent in their own home environments.”
Cornwall Council’s department of Adult Care and Support has also backed the plans. Sarah McBride, Head of Performance and Service Improvement, said Cornwall Care’s plans fitted with the Council’s strategy of supporting more people to stay in their homes and catering for older people with more complex needs through residential nursing care. She said: “The proposal from Cornwall Care supports this intention.”
Among those in the local community supporting the plans is local resident Cath Jenkins, whose mother, 89, and father-in-law, 99, are residents of Cornwall Care’s Headlands home, one of two that will be replaced by the new facility.
Cath said: “I live near the site of the new home, and I think it's a beautiful design. It will be absolutely wonderful – in fact, I'm planning my future there. It's all you could wish for if you had to go into a home. I do hope it gets the go-ahead, it's something we should be proud of."
Suzanne Newton is also backing the plans for new, modern facilities. Her husband John, 84, has been a resident of Trewartha for almost two years, and said the old home was showing its age.
She said: "None of us is getting any younger, so this new building is a necessity. People are more important than anything else, and the needs of the ageing population should come first. Trewartha has wonderful staff, and they really do care about the residents. They are very kind and considerate to my husband, but they're working in a building which is just adequate.”
The new energy-efficient facility is planned on a five-acre site off Higher Tregenna Road in St Ives. It has been designed by award-winning architects who specialise in the design of care accommodation to reflect the town’s artistic heritage, drawing inspiration from Barbara Hepworth’s organic and curved sculptures. Materials include render and stone walls with timber and slate feature panels and slate roof.
It is the culmination of four years’ work to find a suitable location following an initial approach to Cornwall Care from the former Penwith District Council to help provide better accommodation for older people in Penwith, especially in St Ives and Carbis Bay where the number of people requiring care is expected to increase by almost 30% within the next decade.
Having discounted at least seven other sites including those of its existing homes for a variety of reasons – including viability, size and location – Cornwall Care consulted widely on draft plans at Higher Tregenna Road in January of this year.
The feedback from the consultation was positive overall. There were some concerns so the size of the care home has been reduced from 80 bedrooms to 72, and the number of independent extra care units from 30 to 26. The buildings have been moved further away from local residents and have been re-orientated and lowered, and the car park has been reduced in size.
Expert surveys were also commissioned to examine flood risk and traffic impact, with no adverse effects predicted. Cornwall Care also carried out a detailed ecological survey and plans to retain most of the existing Cornish hedges. The introduction of a pond and other natural landscaping aims to boost the number of species on site and enhance the local nature reserve.
The final design creates a main care home and community building, off which there are five ‘households’ contained in two curved wings to maximise views, sunlight and ventilation for residents. Four of the households are for residential and dementia care, each containing 15 bedrooms, and one is for high dependency specialist care with 12 bedrooms.
Each household has its own lounge and dining area, kitchenette, smaller lounge spaces, assisted bathrooms and private gardens. The extra care units are a mixture of one and two-bedroomed apartments on two storeys, each with its own front door. Lower floor units have sunken patio terraces and upper floor units their own balconies.
The facilities open to residents, their families, staff and the wider community include a community room that can be split into three smaller spaces for events, classes and for external groups to use; café/bistro with outside seating; hair and beauty salon; well-being suite with space for a visiting doctor or treatments like aromatherapy and reflexology; balcony with views to Godrevy and a semi-public garden outside accessed through controlled gates.
A full planning application has now been submitted and will be determined later this year.
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