The Big Build – Jersey Cheshire Home
Jersey Cheshire Home has completed its biggest build project to date, enabling the care home to increase the number of residents they can accommodate. Jersey Cheshire Home has been caring for physically disabled adults at Eric Young House for over 35 years and during that time; demand for their services has steadily grown.
Speaking to Premier Construction Channel Islands Focus, Jersey Cheshire Home General Manager David Lord said: “The project was to improve the facilities for rooms that were deemed below standard, create better facilities for the staff, add an additional lift, improve the number of accessible shower rooms and toilets accessibly available, create a new meeting /activity room and create a therapy room, along with undertaking a general tidying up after 35 years of constant use and of course add three wonderful new en-suite bedrooms.”
The expansion work was undertaken by Rok Construction and has provided:
- 3 additional en-suite bedrooms.
- 6 “upgraded” bedrooms.
- New dedicated therapy treatment room.
- New “break out” area for staff along with improvements to the admin office facilities.
- Improved wash rooms and accessible toilets.
- Additional bed/wheelchair lift.
- Enhanced nurse’s station.
- New multipurpose area for meetings, training and activities.
David added: “The project all started about 3 years ago with planning, scheming, drawings, getting permissions and all of those lovely things that you have to go through first.
“Some of the changes that have taken place have included covering over our car park and building out on stilts as a way to utilise space but without losing parking. We have improved the staff facilities so they have a decent staff room with showers and toilets. That is a major improvement because they didn’t have dedicated facilities or a shower beforehand. We have created a proper little kitchen/kitchenette for the residents and carers to use so they can prepare snacks and breakfasts without having to go downstairs, which we know will be very popular. We have also added an extra lift which will be a major benefit because if the single lift ever broke down, it meant the residents had to use an exterior ramp to go to the ground floor and now the chances of two lifts going out at the same time, without electrical failure, are slim.
“During the summer we replaced many of the windows in the home because they were the original 1980s windows and they were at the end of their life, so with a grant from the Association of Jersey Charities, we replaced all of the exterior windows.”
The cost of the works has been deemed significant and upon completion was believed to be in excess of £1.5 million.
“In terms of challenges, I have to say regulations do not bend and allow for a Cheshire Home. The authorities and the regulations tended to want to turn it into an institution and stop it from being a home,” said David. “There was a constant battle to get the message across that these bedrooms are the resident’s home, maybe for 14/15 years so they needed to be treated as an individual rather than an institution. This is not a hospital, it is not a standard nursing home; it is a home where people live because they can’t live in their homes any longer.
“The home remained open throughout the work so the dust and the noise were pretty horrendous on occasions and the loss of water and power periodically was the cause of entertainment but the residents and the nurses have been pretty resilient and I am glad it only took 8-12 months to actually do the work.”
Jersey Cheshire Home is the only residential facility for physically disabled adults on the island of Jersey. They provide care and support to those living with a range of disabilities including Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Epilepsy, Spina Bifida, Strokes and Head injuries.
Over the 35 years the home has been operating it has helped many hundreds of people with complex conditions to get through some extremely challenging times, the staff dedication and commitment considerably benefits those they care for and creates the welcoming place residents call home.
David added: “I have a long history with the home. I have been involved for its whole 35 years of life and I am now the General Manager so to see this work happen is great. It is a great feeling to know that we have used up all of our space and the land that we were given 40 years ago has been fully utilised. Hopefully the facilities will stand the test of time and in another 35 years one of my successors will be doing the same sort of things with whatever is available to him or her.”