The 15-bed facility caters for those whose behaviour can be aggressive and challenging. Thanks to a unique partnership with the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT), specially trained Cedar Grange staff work shifts in the hospital to familiarise themselves with the person concerned before their transfer to the home and hospital staff will also spend time working at Cedar Grange.
“It’s a new, exciting arrangement and one that is of real benefit to everyone concerned,” said Cedar Grange manager Becky Pinnock. “By getting to know individuals before they come to us, we can help settle them down and our colleagues in the NHS will have a much better understanding of what we do too.”
Known as Harmony Lane, the new community has been carefully designed with the needs of residents in mind. The dining room, for example, has been decorated in bright colours to stimulate appetite and engagement with food and drink, whilst the living room has pale green walls to provide a more relaxing atmosphere. Each room has its own individual front door to help patients identify which one is theirs and the furniture and en-suite bathrooms inside are dementia-friendly.
“It’s a very homely environment,” said Cornwall Care Chief Executive Anne Thomas. “Hospitals are often very hectic and aren’t suitable places for patients who need specialist support to keep them as calm and comfortable as possible. Our collaboration with RCHT is a major step forward in designing and delivering services that meet the needs of local people and prevent them from being cared for in unsuitable environments.
“Our new facilities at Cedar Grange will help ease the pressure on the NHS and allow more people with advanced dementia to stay in Cornwall, rather than having to travel outside of the county. It’s very distressing for families when their loved ones are moved to homes that are often considerable distances away. That happened to one of the residents who has joined us. He was sent to Northampton which meant a very long journey for his family and friends. Now they will be able to visit him much more easily.”
Five people have already moved into the new ward and others will be following shortly. Given the county-wide demand for the new service, Cornwall Care is committed to expanding the provision.
“St Martin’s in Camborne is our next project,” said Anne Thomas. “Nine bedrooms are currently being re-designed to the same specifications as Cedar Grange.”
Cornwall Care has sixteen homes in Cornwall, a network of homecare teams and around 1400 staff.