Agenda item

Update on the Garth Hill extra care housing scheme


Linda Wells, Housing & Community Services Director, Bracknell Forest Homes (BFH) was present at the meeting to give an update on the Garth Hill extra care housing scheme.


Clement House would be based in Sandy Lane in Bracknell on the old Garth Hill School site. It would be a landmark building with 65 extra care apartments for older people; 51 rented and 14 private sale. There would be a mix of one and two bed self contained flats with an innovative design round central atrium. A care team would be available on site 24 hours a day and a joint assessment panel would determine who would live at the scheme.


Clement House facilities would include: a Bistro restaurant, Atrium lounge, Hairdressing salon, Activity room, Library / IT access, Spa bathroom, Treatment room, Buggy store, Laundry, Offices, Guest room for visitors, Impressive interior design, and Secure gardens. A typical flat would include a Hall, Fitted kitchen, Living room, Bathroom with (walk-in) shower, Bedroom(s), Storage, and a Balcony.


BFH were involved in procurement with BFC; there would be a mixed range of high, medium, and low care needs to balance out the ratio of need; and staff offices and facilities, a staff overnight room and assistive technology. Clement House was due to be completed in Spring 2015.


Board members were shown an artist’s impression of what Clement House would look like, which would be Bracknell Forest’s first independence care scheme. Residents at the scheme could make use of the services on site as their independence diminished. There was a growing interest in extra care and it was hoped that there would be a mixed population of couples and single people at the scheme.


There would be events and activities at the scheme such as indoor bowls, tai chi, concerts, and Christmas events. There was a wall in the atrium which images could be projected onto and these images could be changed, for example, with the seasons. The aim was for the scheme to resemble a hotel rather than an institution and it would make use of self cleaning glass. The restaurant would be used to provide meals for the residents; Broadway House and Barnett Court did this as well.


There would be assisted bath treatment and a cycle path from the town centre to Clement House. A central laundry facility would be available, although there would be space in each flat for a washing machine. Guest rooms would be available for visitors to residents at the scheme who wished to stay overnight, and there would be garden space surrounding the scheme. It was anticipated that owner occupiers may be more active in the beginning and some residents may have children with learning disabilities who needed to live with them.


Vetting would be undertaken to decide the age of people allowed into the scheme but some people would have younger partners so there would need to be flexibility. Work was being undertaken with BFVA regarding volunteers for arts and crafts at the care scheme. The aim was to set up a programme initially and then ask people what they would like to do. There was sufficient parking at the scheme and this met with planning requirements.


Social enterprise was being considered in relation to the restaurant; there would be a trained chef and the suggestion of apprenticeships. BFH had an employment project and provided placements at BFH or with partner organisations. Clement House would be used for placements if possible. Garth Hill College and Bracknell & Wokingham College had been contacted regarding placements in relation to their social care and catering courses. Work was being undertaken to explore a befriending scheme. Clement House could be toured once completed.The Board was likely to consider the specification for care services and the provision of social activities.