David Heaney, Divisional General Manager with Fife Health and Social Care Partnership talks about Fife’s exciting new inter-generational service development.
Like lots of good ideas, the origins of our new care village at Methil lay in a fleeting conversation between colleagues passing in a stairwell at our headquarters in Glenrothes.
At this point, we were approaching completion of phase one of our care homes redevelopment programme which replaced six of our older establishments with three new-build 60 bedded care homes surrounded by extra care housing units to form three care villages in Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes and Lumphinnans.
Fife Council had just recently approved an additional capital investment of £18.3m to replace a further three of our remaining older peoples care homes and we were just beginning to sketch out the beginnings of the next phase of our redevelopment programme.
Roundabout the same time, our colleagues in the Early Years Service were making plans to fulfil the Scottish Government’s pledge to deliver 1140 hours of funded early learning and childcare for all 3 and 4 year olds and eligible two year olds, and our Housing colleagues were driving forward delivery of Fife’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan.
The stairwell conversation quickly got around to the subject of Channel 4’s recent broadcast “Old People’s Home for Four Year Olds”, which highlighted the benefits of inter-generational service delivery. The question was “Why don’t we do something like that?” and the rest, as they say, is history…
We established a Programme Board bringing together all of the expertise we needed to deliver our vision in one place and our Business Case was approved by the Council, giving the green light to proceed. We targeted Methil as the first location for this phase of the programme, primarily due to the ready availability of the site of what was previously Kirkland High School. The site was large and flat and offered sufficient area to accommodate a 36-bed care home, a nursery with spaces for 78 children and a mix of 35 houses. Our architects did a great job in configuring the site to maximise green space and create a village green with safe walking routes for everyone, as well as communal facilities to meet and have a coffee in the main building. The overall capital investment in the project will be £14.8M and work on site is expected to get underway early in 2020 with a completion date planned for August 2021.
Louise Bell, Older People’s Service Manager, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership said, “I am delighted that our care home residents will have a new purpose-built home with high quality care, providing opportunities for intergenerational activities with younger children and engagement with the surrounding housing tenants in the community café”.
Clark Graham, Early Learning Officer with Fife Council’s Early Years Team said, “This will truly be a sector-leading development and really has the potential to break down the inter-generational age barriers which can often exist within our communities. Research has proven the positive impact that young children and older people learning together brings, particularly for their health and well-being.”
Paul Short, Service Manager with Fife’s Housing Service said, “We are delighted to build upon our partnership with Health and Social Care in delivering a new joint facility at Methil. It is great that this development brings in a new dimension in terms of an early years facility. This development will be truly market-leading and we are excited to be involved with this. The development will bring much needed affordable housing for older people in the Levenmouth area.”
Councillor David Graham, a local elected member and the Council’s spokesperson for Health and Social Care said, “The care village in Methil is a fantastic example of services working together to invest in our local community for the benefit of our younger and older residents.”
For further information about the Methil Care Village, contact Vivienne.firstname.lastname@example.org