A new £5m charitable partnership to enhance elderly care has been announced by Legal & General (L&G) and Newcastle City Council.
The L&G funded partnership will support additional independent living facilities for older residents within the Future Homes Alliance project at Newcastle Helix (pictured), managed by the City Council’s housing partner, Karbon Homes. It will also be used for core funding for a 20/25 bed ‘new model’ residential care home at a yet to be identified site.
Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive of Legal & General, said: “With an ageing population, elderly care was already a major issue for L&G and many of our customers, and COVID was a further tragic blow for many in the care sector – including in the North East. We have to find better ways to care for older people, and these prototypes will accelerate the process, demonstrate what can be done and what is viable, and complement the academic work we already sponsor. Doing this here, alongside brilliant partners, cements Newcastle’s position as a national leader in care.”
The Helix project will provide 66 affordable units along with five demonstrator homes to test the latest innovations and products to help support ageing and environmental sustainability in a real-world setting.
The care home project, which will be owned and operated by the council, marks a shift away from the traditional, large-scale care home to a more domestic, clustered, communal setting and will incorporate key lessons from the coronavirus pandemic, including infection control, operation of lockdowns and ‘support bubbles’.
Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “The pandemic has shown how vital good quality adult social care services are and how important our approach to partnership working is. We have an opportunity to move away from large scale facilities to smaller, community based services that provide a sense of independent home living, are dementia friendly and improve everyone’s quality of life. Newcastle can be a global leader in our thinking for the future and homes and services like this showcase that belief.”