His Royal Highness met residents and staff as he toured the care centre in Henley, which is run by The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) – one of the UK’s largest not for profit care providers. During the visit, HRH met residents and was shown baking activities. The Duke was also able to see the spacious bedroom and en-suite wet room facilities available to residents and talk to members of the OSJCT operational team responsible for preparing and implementing the move of residents from the existing Chiltern’s End home in Henley. Following his tour, The Duke joined assembled guests for the unveiling of a commemorative plaque to mark the official opening of the care centre.
Home Manager Vicki Morl commented after the visit: “We couldn’t have been more excited about having HRH The Duke of Gloucester visit us to officially open Chilterns Court Care Centre. Our residents and employees were thrilled to welcome HRH and were very keen to show him around our new home.”
During his visit, His Royal Highness met representatives of the organisations involved in bringing the project to fruition, including architects Hunters and OSJCT’s development partner, bpha, as well as interior design company Colourways. County dignitaries and representatives from local and regional community organisations were also present to celebrate this special occasion.
After unveiling a plaque to mark the official opening of the care centre, and wishing everyone living and working at Chilterns Court Care Centre the best of luck in their new home, His Royal Highness concluded his visit by signing the Visitors’ Book.
The new 64-bed care centre will include three floors dedicated to providing specialist dementia care and will incorporate a number of features to promote reminiscence as therapy. Each of the home’s bedrooms will have an en-suite shower and toilet facilities, along with access to digital television, telephone and Wi-Fi, as well as a 24-hour nurse call facility.
Each wing is arranged into small household units, each with its own communal dining and lounge areas, along with specialist bathing facilities, to give a domestic feel.
The home also includes several ‘destination zones’, including a “high street” themed first floor, complete with a shop, cafe and hair salon. The rest of the building is fully furnished throughout and decorated to a high standard, incorporating breakthrough dementia technologies to assist residents. Additionally, the property’s outdoor area provides a safe and secure garden for residents to access and includes a fully landscaped sensory garden with raised planters, vegetable patches and water feature.
Residents and staff are also supported by OSJCT’s own specialist Dementia UK-trained St John Admiral Nurse.
Dan Hayes, OSJCT’s Chief Executive, commented: OSJCT already has strong community links in Henley, where we have been operating Chiltern’s End care home for many years. It is a particular pleasure, therefore, to be opening the doors to Chilterns Court Care Centre, where we will be able to offer high quality, person centred care in modern, comfortable surroundings. Everyone is acutely aware of the increase in the number of people living with dementia and we believe that the specialist care we will be delivering in this home will help meet the needs of those living with the condition, both now and in the future. We are also very pleased to be working closely with the NHS and the CCG to provide intermediate care facilities for the local community in Henley.
Roger Dickinson, Chair of the Townlands Stakeholder Reference Group, linked to Oxfordshire CCG, said: “We are pleased to be working with OSJCT to provide the beds that will support the new Rapid Access Care Unit at Townlands. We have purchased a total of 11 beds in the new care home and we will use these beds flexibly. We hope that this arrangement will provide excellent care for people in Henley who may require a short spell of medical intervention to get better.”