Groundworks started this week on a new £10.8m specialist dementia care facility in Harrogate by Vida Healthcare, which is expected to create up to 250 new jobs when it opens in summer 2021.
Vida Court is the third facility in the town for the company, which was established seven years ago to challenge and change perceptions about care homes in the UK and has already achieved two ‘Outstanding’ ratings from the Care Quality Commission for its two existing dementia facilities in Harrogate. Less than 3% of total care homes in the UK achieve ‘Outstanding’ status according to Care Quality Commission figures.
The new building will provide one hundred bedrooms across eight individual ‘houses’ with specialist features including a large communal area designed to imitate a village environment with its own shop, coffee shop, cinema, hairdresser, events room and easy access to outside spaces.
Designed to deliver very tailored and individual care programmes, it will cater for people as young as 40 and will adopt the successful tiered design from the company’s most recent home, Vida Grange, with plenty of light and points of interest, large internal walking areas for residents, level access to external gardens, as well as multiple communal spaces, health, wellbeing and sensory features.
It will also incorporate significant workspace areas to provide a Vida Academy training centre for staff and a new headquarters facility for Vida’s head office personnel, currently located elsewhere in the town. The company employs 450 staff which is expected to rise to 700 next year, making it a major local employer.+
Designed by Leeds-based Den Architecture, the building works will be delivered by a Yorkshire-based team comprising Projex Building Solutions, which has advised on all three Vida facilities and will provide project management, cost consultancy and health and safety advice, with the build contract being undertaken by Caddick Construction, part of Knottingley-based Caddick Group PLC.
Vida Healthcare managing director, James Rycroft, is particularly interested in innovation and creativity in the care sector, which led him to becoming a founder member of The Outstanding Society (http://theoutstandingsociety.co.uk/), which works closely with Care England, Skills for Care and the Care Quality Commission to share expertise and drive up best practice in the sector.
James explains: “We launched Vida Healthcare seven years ago with a view to challenging the perception and services of care homes in the UK. In the seven years since our first home, Vida Hall, was conceived and built, the company has enjoyed a growing reputation as providing a centre of excellence for dementia care in the UK and particularly for being able to help with very extreme or complex diagnoses. We are very proud of this achievement and want to continue to put Harrogate on the map and be at the leading edge of specialist care provision in this country.”
“We look forward to working closely with the construction and build teams over the next eighteen months to deliver a facility that will demonstrate the very latest thinking in dementia care. Having all our team based in one place will further improve delivery of the best care possible and we hope to be able to continue to inspire and innovate both our staff and others working in the care sector when Vida Court opens next year.”
Phil Tomalin, managing director of Projex, comments: “It has been exciting to work with Vida on all three of its projects in Harrogate and see their vision of providing exceptional dementia care become a reality. Vida has challenged all areas of care provision to the extent that their care home environments are almost unrecognisable from outdated predecessors. It means that Harrogate will continue to take a leading role in dementia care provision in this country.”
Caddick operations director Ian Plowman said: “We have made a really strong start to this project and we’re delighted to be part of the team that is bringing these much-needed dementia-focused facilities for the region. Dementia is a condition that affects so many families these days and this 24-hour care home will undoubtedly help their loved ones be in an environment where they feel safe and secure.”
Vida was a regional winner at the Great British Care Awards 2018, winning the Employer of the Year award and its managing director, James Rycroft, was awarded Outstanding Contribution to Social Care at the regional finals of the 2017 Great British Care Awards.
Currently 1 in 4 NHS beds are taken up by patients living with dementia over the age of 65. In England and Wales, the number of dementia sufferers who need palliative care is forecast to almost quadruple by 2040, with a growing diagnosis among younger age groups in the 40-65 year old bracket.