Enthusiasm was evident in spades when key partners involved in the development of the new Stirling Care Village got together to cut the first sods to mark the start of construction.
The innovative 35m development, which is being built in the grounds of Stirling Community Hospital, is a joint venture between Stirling Council, NHS Forth Valley and the Scottish Ambulance Service. Forth Valley College is also keen to explore opportunities to offer local young people, who are considering a career in the health and care sector, a range of training and volunteering opportunities within the new Care Village.
The Care Village will support the integration of local health and social care services, making it easier for staff to work together to deliver better co-ordinated, more joined up care to local people – a key aim of the Clackmannanshire and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership.
This will be achieved by bringing wide range of health and social services together in two new purpose-built facilities – a Care Hub and a Primary and Urgent Care Centre. The Scottish Ambulance Service also plans to move their existing ambulance station in the Riverside area of Stirling to a new station and workshop on the Stirling Community Hospital site.
More than 100 beds will be created in the new Care Hub to provide short-term care, assessment or rehabilitation to older people who require additional support following an illness or operation. These services will be provided in a comfortable, homely environment to help older people recover, regain their independence and, in the majority of cases, return to their own homes. The Care Hub will also provide support for patients with dementia and those who need palliative or end of life care.
The new Primary and Urgent Care Centre will provide more modern, spacious accommodation for a number of existing health services include Minor Injuries, X-ray facilities and GP out-of-hours services. It will also house a number of local GP practices which will re-locate to purpose-built premises within the new Centre.
Robertson Construction are the main contractors and the project is being developed through hub East Central Scotland (a joint partnership between public and private sector organisations aimed at developing and delivering better local services across East Central Scotland). The majority of facilities are expected to be completed by autumn 2018 with the ambulance station and final site works completed by autumn 2019.
As part of ongoing plans to keep local people, community groups and businesses updated on the development, an information day is being held on Wednesday 25th January 2017 in the lecture theatre on the ground floor of Stirling Community Hospital. Drop in sessions will run from 2.00pm – 4.00pm (with a presentation at 2.30pm) and 6.30pm – 8.30pm, (with a presentation at 7.00pm). There will be an opportunity to see site plans, find out more about the construction timetable and speak to key staff involved in the project.
Alex Linkston, Chairman of NHS Forth Valley, said: “I am delighted that construction work is now underway. A great deal of work has already been carried out by all the partners to reach this important milestone and it is very exciting that local staff and patients will soon have access to these fantastic new facilities.”
Councillor Christine Simpson, Chair of the Stirling Care Village Steering Group and Stirling Council’s Social Care and Health Convenor, said: "I am delighted that Stirling Council’s work in partnership with NHS Forth Valley and Forth Valley College to transform health services for people in Stirling is coming to life, with building work beginning on the Stirling Care Village. This ground-breaking project will make a huge difference for our communities, especially older people.”
David Garbutt, Chair of the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “The new station will ensure that our ambulance teams have a modern, fit for purpose work environment with facilities which support the continued delivery of the highest standards of patient care. It will also incorporate modern facilities which meet the required NHS standards for infection control and support the ongoing professional development of our staff’s clinical skills.”