At a meeting of the Social Services and Housing Committee in November 2008 a
recommendation was made to proceed with the building of a 40 place care facility in
Kirkwall and for a main unit and six extra care houses in St Margaret’s Hope.
Orkney Health and Care Shadow Board, now responsible for this project, will hear at its meeting on November 12 that since then the OIC Housing Department has confirmed that it will provide an additional eight extra care houses in St Margaret’s Hope, increasing the number of houses to 14.
This is the first major joint project between NHSO and OIC in Orkney and a priority for both organisations, given our ever increasing elderly population. It represents an important step in the development of shared services in Orkney and is the starting point of Orkney Health and Care’s commitment to delivering the benefits of joint working under the banner of a single, multi skilled organisation.
The care facility in Kirkwall will be on the Solisquoy site. The unit will comprise a mixture of both social and health care for people who require high level residential dementia care (18places), respite ( 6 places) and NHS intermediate ( 10 places) and continuing care ( 6 places). It will be jointly staffed by health and social care staff working as a multi skilled team.
Intermediate care is provided to avoid the need for unplanned admission to hospital or to respite care when older people living in the community become unwell. It is focused on rehabilitating people to enable them to return to their own homes. It may also be used where rehabilitation is needed after a hospital stay and can support earlier discharges from hospital.
Continuing care is care that is funded and arranged by the NHS. Patients will require
specialist physician or nursing services or ongoing medical treatments over an extended period of time. 
The care facility in St Margarets Hope will be on the south side of the new bypass road. It will comprise of a core building and 14 extra care houses.  
Extra care housing is emerging as a preferred option nationally for people with a range of dependency needs, including high dependency, physical frailty and moderate dementia and provides an alternative to residential care. 
Advances in care technology mean that people with high levels of need can now be
supported at home. There is sound research evidence which demonstrates that most older people want to remain in their own home for as long as possible, a view which was confirmed at a public event in Kirkwall in November 2007. 
During July a series of visits were made by Officers from Social Care, Health and
Development Services to look at a range of care facilities which were newly built and had been recommended by the Dementia Services Centre, Stirling University and the Care Commission. Most of the visits were within Lothian and Midlothian areas with one in 2 Aberdeen. Specific design features in relation to good practice dementia design were noted and will be followed up as design develops.
A multi–disciplinary Project Team comprising officers with design and building expertise, together with representatives from housing and older people’ s services have commented positively and enthusiastically on the project plans. 
The plans have also been shared with the St Margaret’s Hope development group, an informal group made up of representatives from the community council, local GP practice and individuals with a long-standing interest in the development of care facilities for older people in the area.   Suggestions and comments offered by this Group will be considered as part of the ongoing design process. 
An outline of the plans for the St. Margaret Hope development will be displayed in local venues in St. Margaret Hope and Burray the week starting 16 November. There will be two drop in events with all developmental designs and sketches on show on Tuesday 17 November and Wednesday November 18 from 3pm to 7pm in the Cromarty Hall, St Margarets Hope. Representatives from Community Social Services, Housing and Development & Environmental Services will be present to provide information, answer queries and collate comments.  
A similar event will be held for the Kirkwall facility design early in the New Year.
A timetable for the tendering processes for the projects is currently being prepared.

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