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Bringing Services to The Person
Traditional care homes for older people have largely operated in the same way for many years. Some could be criticised for being away from the local community and simply providing basic social and health care. Fife Council, in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, has taken a different approach to care of the elderly people.
They have opened a ‘care village’ to replace and extend the service provided from two older, more traditional care homes. The village has multiple services on site, and is planning to involve the local community also.
The services either planned, or already in place are:
- A residential care home ;
- A day care service;
- Extra care housing;
- A community cafe;
- An onsite nurse practitioner service;
- A re-enablement unit;
- A hairdressing salon.
The team which developed the services expressed their enthusiasm and excitement at its opening.
This seems justified, as the service ticks many of the boxes for good practice in social care. The service users who moved from the two previous care homes were extensively consulted on its design and furnishing, and in many cases their individual choice of furniture and fittings was implemented.
The village embodies the move toward integrating health and social care : the nurse practitioner service and the future re-enablement services are examples. They show a careful consideration of the needs of older people, while also maintaining the positive aspirations to maintain and improve one’s health. This is shown in the extra care housing on site, which allows older people with only partial support needs to maintain their independence, while still having assistance ready to hand where needed.
It is also good to see that the involvement of the local community has been considered, in the plans for the community cafe and a drop-in facility.
The service was commended by the Care Inspectorate, who regulate care services in Scotland, for the ‘sector leading’ consultation as part of moving to the new service. A Council spokesperson stated that they “have been having lots of discussions with service users, families, staff, the Care Inspectorate and the University Of Stirling Dementia Services Centre to gather ideas and views.
We have also made visits to other new care homes across Scotland to learn from what they have done.”
This is the first of three similar services planned throughout Fife, it appears as a good example of how planners are responding to changing public needs and policy demands. We look forward to seeing how these services continue to develop, in meeting the needs of their communities.
Tony Clarke – QCS Expert Scottish Care Contributor