Work has begun on a new £10.5m care hub at the heart of Whiteley Village in Surrey, further expanding care services and capacity at Britain’s oldest retirement village. Finance for the project has been secured from two of the UK’s most prominent social lenders, Triodos Bank and Unity Trust Bank. Dominic Raab MP, Minister of State for Housing, launched the construction at the ground-breaking ceremony.
Opening in March 2019, the new care hub will revolutionise the way Whiteley offers clinical care within the community, providing intensive care capacity for up to 30 people with complex needs associated with old age. This includes space for visiting families to stay with their loved ones, consultation rooms for visiting health professionals from the local GP practice/NHS, therapy space, and a large café to provide a new social venue at the heart of the village.
Chandra McGowan, Chief Executive of The Whiteley Homes Trust, said: “The new care hub marks the start of the next chapter in the history of Whiteley Village. Quality of life for our residents has always been our passion, working together with residents to support the whole community to age well within their own homes. The addition of new facilities from which we can deploy up-to-date clinical care will further enhance life for people today and in the future.
Triodos Bank, the UK’s leading sustainable bank, and Unity Trust Bank have provided a total of £16m towards the development work at the village. Both lenders are committed to using finance to support care service providers who demonstrate a human-centred approach at the heart of their organisational culture.
The £21m project will transform Whiteley’s current operational model into a collaborative social care framework. Once the care hub is complete, the remainder of the financing in phase 1 will be used to redevelop Whiteley House, adding 39 individual extra care apartments. Phase 2 will include additional alms houses in the future. Both lenders are committed to using finance to support care service providers who demonstrate a human-centred approach at the heart of their organisational culture.
Matt Conroy, relationship manager at Triodos Bank, said: “With this innovative new care hub, Whiteley Village is at an exciting stage in its 100-year history. At Triodos, we want to make sure that organisations like Whiteley get the financial support they need to shape a future world that’s better for us all. The benefits of collaborative care are obvious, and Whiteley is creating a model of care that places human dignity at its very core.”
Castleoak, a specialist partner in the design and build of quality care homes will design and build the new care hub. The project started on site this month. “Castleoak is delighted that Whiteley Village has chosen to partner with us on this important new care hub. We value the opportunity to create quality living space for residents,” said Craig Currie, Chief Executive at Castleoak
Chandra McGowan added: “Celebrating our centenary in 2017, we set out to turn the traditional care model on its head with a new cross-functional approach that puts residents’ needs at the core of how we care for people. Illness in older age is very stressful, but much of it can be prevented or alleviated if it is diagnosed and treated at an early stage. However, many older people struggle to get to the doctor or don’t like to go, so when simple medical interventions are delivered in conjunction with NHS colleagues, where people feel most comfortable – in the familiarity of their own homes – it eases the burden on everyone: patient, family, care staff and the NHS. The new care hub is a demonstrable expression of our care for current and future generations of residents at Whiteley Village.”
Opened in 1917, the village is run by the Whiteley Homes Trust, providing homes for up to 500 pensioners of limited financial means. The expansion builds on Whiteley Village’s successful care model of promoting community living among residents, leading to enhanced quality of life, reduced social isolation and greater independence. In February 2017, Cass Business School published research showing that people – especially women – living at Whiteley Village enjoy up to 5 extra years of life than the national average.