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£3.5million dementia village announced for old Buckland Hospital site in Dover

Funding for a dementia village in Dover has been secured.

East Kent Hospitals, Kent County Council and other agencies across east Kent and Europe have today announced they will work together to create a dementia village on a section of the old Buckland Hospital site in Randolph Road.

The £3.5 million project will enable people with the illness to lead healthier and more independent lives.

The derelict homes in Randolph Road will be developed as part of the dementia village
The derelict homes in Randolph Road will be developed as part of the dementia village

Significant European funding has been approved for the project. £2 million will be provided in cash by Interreg 2 Seas, with the rest being match-funded by 10 partners, including East Kent Hospitals.

Work has been completed on the pre-planning application phase of the development, which will lead to a final design being submitted to Dover District Council.

Once approved it is anticipated that building work will start immediately and be concluded by spring 2019.

Chief executive of East Kent Hospitals, Matthew Kershaw, said: “This is an exciting development and represents a new approach in caring for those affected by dementia.

“Those with dementia often have other long-term health conditions, which can lead to them being repeatedly admitted to hospital. This may tackle specific bouts of illness, but it’s a model that doesn’t necessarily address the overall care needs – emotionally and physically – of an elderly person living with dementia.

Chief executive of East Kent Hospitals Matthew Kershaw
Chief executive of East Kent Hospitals Matthew Kershaw

“The dementia village concept is based upon a social approach that encourages those with dementia to lead as normal a life as possible, engaging with a familiar environment while having access to care 24 hours a day.”

When built, the Dover dementia village will be an enclosed site containing modified housing blocks, with each accommodating five residents with dementia.

It’s anticipated that 30 people will be accommodated, with an additional six beds available for a new ‘guesthouse with care’ concept. A separate building will provide community facilities and services.

The village will use ‘Telehealth’ to help with monitoring residents’ health, and technology to help make residents’ daily lives easier.

Dementia presents a challenge to society, both now and increasingly in the future. In 2015 there were 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and by 2025 it is estimated that this will have grown to nearly 1,150,000. Dementia now costs the UK economy £26.3 billion a year.

Mr Kershaw added: “We want to see people with dementia retain their dignity, independence and health for as long as possible.

“New, financially sustainable methods of providing care for people living with dementia such as the dementia village will be vital in providing the excellent health and social care for those affected by dementia. We are looking forward to learning from this model and continuing to develop better treatment for people with dementia in the future.”

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