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£3.5m funding secured for Dover dementia village at former Buckland hospital

PUBLISHED: 16:57 31 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:57 31 August 2017

Dementia care

Dementia care

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Project chiefs hope to complete work by spring 2019, once a planning application has been submitted

Almost £3.5m of European funding has been approved to help develop a dementia village in Dover.

East Kent Hospitals, Kent County Council as well as a host of partners from across east Kent and the wider continent have secured the cash to enable people will the illness to lead healthier and more independent lives.

The lion’s share of the funding - over £2m - will be provided by European Territorial Cooperation Programme, Interreg 2 Seas, with the rest match-funded by 10 partners including the health trust.

Work has been completed on the pre-planning application phase of the development, earmarked for the former Buckland hospital in the port town, 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.

East Kent Hospitals chief executive, 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.

“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, health bosses say.

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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