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Clashieknowe housing complex aims to help people return to independent living

26/02/14

An intermediate care centre designed to help people return to independent living after being discharged from hospital has been formally opened by Aberdeen Lord Provost George Adam.

Resident Peter bain, gave a tour of his flat to Deborah Wright (service manager Bon Accord care), Dorothy Askew (Community Care Strategy Officer Aberdeen City Council) & Councillor Neil Cooney. Clashieknowe, located in Scotstown Road, Bridge of Don, offers specialist temporary accommodation which aids in the recovery of residents through a range of social care therapies, support and activities, all in a homely setting.

It is run by Bon Accord Care, Aberdeen City Council's social care organisation, with support from NHS Grampian.

The centre provides 24-hour on-site professional care for adults aged 18 and over who stay for between six to 12 weeks.

Clashieknowe replaces the service provided at Smithfield Court, which was returned to mainstream housing as part of the Council's sheltered housing review.

The withdrawal of the service from Smithfield Court meant it became essential to find an alternative location and Clashieknowe, which had provided bedsit accommodation deemed no longer fit for purpose, was identified.

A feasibility study was carried out into the best use of Clashieknowe with consideration given to a range of options including upgrading for general purpose housing, demolition, sale or provision for the rehabilitation service.

The Council's Housing and Environment Committee agreed that Clashieknowe was a suitable setting to relocate the Smithfield Court service and work to transform the building to its current high standard began in January last year [2013].

Work was completed in November and the service became operational last month [January].

The 710,000 redevelopment of Clashieknowe was jointly funded by the Council's Housing and Environment and Social Care, Wellbeing and Safety directorates.

The work included extensive external refurbishment and upgrading, the installation of a fire suppressant system, refurbishment of accommodation with new kitchens and bathrooms with level access showers and accessible laundry facilities. Infrastructure to support assistive technology systems was also installed.

It now boasts 12 modern bedsit flats and six one-bedroom wheelchair accessible flats. A larger two-bedroom, self-contained flat allows a family to remain together when a relative is receiving palliative, end of life care and is unable to return home.

The common areas are designed to promote social interaction and a training kitchen allows residents to learn or relearn culinary skills.

Aberdeen City Council's Director of Social Care and Wellbeing Liz Taylor said: "The intermediate care project is a real success story and when it operated from Smithfield Court a very high percentage of residents returned home, the majority with reduced or no care at home needs.

"However, Smithfield Court did not lend itself to certain needs of individuals and families and an alternative solution was needed to provide a more modern service.

"Clashieknowe has filled that gap in spades, offering 24-hour professional care in specialist accommodation designed to be homely and welcoming for residents and their families."

Social Care, Wellbeing and Safety Convener Councillor Len Ironside added: "I have been very impressed with the speed at which Clashieknowe has been transformed from bedsits that were not fit for purpose to specialist accommodation providing vital rehabilitation services in contemporary surroundings. Clashieknowe.

"Adults with physical, social, communication or sensory difficulties, or people with reduced confidence following illness or accident, can expect to receive the very best care and support from our social care and housing teams, along with NHS Grampian. This is all designed to improve residents' quality of life, allowing them to return to independent living."

Aberdeen City Council's Director of Housing and Environment Pete Leonard said: "Our sheltered housing review identified a need to invest in certain developments and decommission facilities that were surplus to requirement or no longer fit for purpose.

"The withdrawal of the rehabilitation project from Smithfield Court and the availability of the Clashieknowe building presented the perfect solution; relocating a vital housing service to accommodation designed to promote the swift recovery of residents.

"Ultimately we want Clashieknowe residents to be able to return home or move on to more permanent supported living arrangements."

Housing and Environment Convener Councillor Neil Cooney added: "Clashieknowe ticks all the boxes. The building is in a better location, situated close to local amenities including a doctor's surgery, dentist, chemist, local shops and public transport links to the city centre.

"The accommodation and communal facilities have been refurbished to a very high standard and the service provided is far more flexible than before with the potential to develop it further.

"Residents and their loved ones can be assured that high quality care and support will be provided at Clashieknowe so as to prepare individuals for a more permanent housing solution."