Planning permission was granted on Thursday 24th July for the development of EachStep Blackburn, a brand new, state-of-the-art, £4.8 million specialist dementia care service in Blackburn.
At this service, we will provide our unique ‘EachStep’ brand of dementia care, a holistic range of specialist support that helps people who live with dementia through every stage of their journey with the condition.
The cutting-edge three storey service will include a 64 bedded care home that will provide respite support, residential care and nursing care. There are also plans for the service to deliver home care in the local community, assisting people to live independently in their own homes for longer. It will be built on the site of the former Royal Infirmary in Blackburn and fully funded by our charity.
As well as providing an extensive range of specialist facilities for the people it will support, the service will also offer several amenities for the local community to enjoy and utilise – including a café, landscaped gardens and meeting rooms.
This development comes as part of a strategic aim by Blackburn Council to modernise and improve local care services for older people. The service will support the goals of the local authority to keep people at home for longer and avoid unnecessary admissions into hospital.
Community Integrated Care, named the 2013 North West Care Employer of the Year at the Great North West Care Awards, will create over 100 permanent jobs in the service, in a range of care, management and administrative roles.
Development of the service will be overseen by LNT Construction, a company that specialises in the design and build of care homes for the elderly. Dates for demolition of the former infirmary and the construction of the new building are currently being finalised, with the service anticipated to open during the 2015/16 financial year.
All parties involved in the project have been keen to retain and celebrate the heritage of the Royal Infirmary site, which has been derelict since 2007 and has fallen into severe disrepair. As part of the planning process, assessments were made to understand which artefacts from the building could be retained as a public art pieces, which will be displayed on an area of nearby land that is being donated by Blackburn-with-Darwen Council.
The assessments found that the coat of arms, foundation stone and title stone of the building could be restored and retained. However, whilst it had been hoped that the mosaic floor and arches of the building could also be used, these have been found to be damaged and unable to be recovered. However, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Planning and Highways Committee added a condition to ensure the developers devise plans for a replica mosaic floor to be installed in the new facility.
Neil Matthewman, Chief Executive of Community Integrated Care, says: “We are delighted that planning permission has been granted for EachStep Blackburn. This exciting new service will offer the very highest standards of dementia support, delivered by highly trained, caring staff in exceptional facilities. In doing so, we will give people in Blackburn living with dementia, and their loved ones, the comfort and stability that they need.”
He continues: “Our charity is committed to making a positive contribution to the local community. Not only do we intend to improve standards of care in the local area, we also want to benefit the wider Blackburn community by enhancing the local environment and bringing new opportunities for local people. I’d like to thank Blackburn with Darwen Council, the local community groups and members of the public, who have all supported our vision for this service”
Councillor Mohammed Khan, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “This is exactly the kind of facility we need in this borough. I am delighted to see the progress of this important development. Our older people deserve the highest quality services. It will provide excellent dementia care and I am especially pleased to hear about the innovative model Community Integrated Care are proposing including the plans to deliver home care outreach via the community, helping residents to live independently in own homes as long as possible.”