Plans for New Care Village Move Forward

Proposals to create an innovative new care village for older people on the grounds of Stirling Community hospital have moved a step forward following the development of initial plans.

The Outline Business Case (OBC) highlights plans for a new integrated health and social care ‘hub’, which would bring together a number of existing care services for older people currently provided by Stirling Council along with inpatient and specialist community health services provided by NHS Forth Valley.

These include residential and respite care along with services for older people who require additional short-term care, an assessment or rehabilitation following an illness, an operation or an acute hospital admission. It would also provide specialist support for patients with dementia and those who require palliative and end of life care. Services would be delivered in a modern, purpose-built facility with more than 100 short stay care beds. This would provide a comfortable, homely environment for older people to help them recover, regain their independence and, in the majority of cases, return to their own homes.

The plans would also see the creation of new facilities to house a number of existing health services on the site including Minor Injuries Services, X-ray and GP out-of-hours services along with a number of local GP practices which are keen to be part of the new development.

There would also be the potential to develop a range of onsite recreational facilities such as a café and a hair salon where older people could socialise and meet up with friends and family.

The Scottish Ambulance Service has put forward plans to relocate their existing ambulance station in the Riverside area of Stirling to a new facility on the Stirling Community Hospital site. There are longer term plans to explore the development of commercial, flexible and adaptable housing and a masterplan has been developed to show where the different health, social care and potential new housing could be located on the site.

The Outline Business Case, which has been developed as part of partnership between NHS Forth Valley, Stirling Council and Forth Valley College, also describes the strategic, financial and operational plans for the proposed Care Village and highlights the benefits for service users and staff. In addition, it outlines how the proposed new development would not only address key local priorities to improve services for older people but also provide more joined up, responsive services, in line with national plans to integrate adult health and social care services.

Tom Steele, NHS Forth Valley’s Director of Strategic Projects and Facilities, said:

 The completion of the Outline Business Case is a significant step forward and highlights the considerable work which has been carried out over the last year by all the partners involved to progress plans for this important new development.”

Councillor Christine Simpson, Stirling Council’s Social Care and Health Committee Convenor, said:

 We know that most older people want to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible. Bringing a wide range of health and care services together under the one roof and providing the right follow up support in the community can help make this a reality for many more older people. This exciting new development also provides a unique opportunity to deliver excellent care in a modern purpose-built facility which has been designed to meet the needs of older people at different stages in their lives.”

Forth Valley College Principal Dr Ken Thomson, commented:

 The new Care Village has the potential to provide a wide range of employment, training, placements and volunteering opportunities for local young people who are considering a future career in health or social care and we are delighted to be part of this exciting new development.”

The OBC, which has been approved by Stirling Council and NHS Forth Valley, will be submitted to the Scottish Government. If approved, a more detailed Full Business Case would be developed and submitted for approval in late 2014.

*The following GP practices have expressed an interest in being part of the potential new Care Village development.

  • Viewfield Medical Centre
  • Park Avenue Medical Centre
  • Park Terrace Medical Practice
  • St Ninian’s Medical Practice

Viewfield and Park Terrace practices have branch surgeries at St Ninian’s Health Centre which would also be incorporated into the proposed scheme List of GP practices.