New 60-bed care village proposed for Peterhead

The Kinmundy Road site is being favoured by the Peterhead Project Group for the care village as opposed to the existing Ugie Hospital which is facing closure
The Kinmundy Road site is being favoured by the Peterhead Project Group for the care village as opposed to the existing Ugie Hospital which is facing closure

A new 60-bed Peterhead Care Village is likely to be located alongside the town’s proposed community campus.

In a report going before Aberdeenshire’s Council’s Integrated Joint Board, the Kinmundy Road site is being favoured by the Peterhead Project Group as opposed to the existing Ugie Hospital which is facing closure.

Health bosses says the physical environment at the Ugie is “well below the optimum expected” for a modern day healthcare facility.

There could also be a move up to Kinmundy for the highly-rated Grangepark care home which would enable the council to potentially sell off of the current building.

Mark Simpson, north partnership manager for the Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership, will tell the IJB on Wednesday that there is provision for investment in a north care village at Peterhead within Aberdeenshire Council’s Capital Plan.

If supported, it would be the third such planned capital investment following similar projects at Edenholme in Stonehaven and Bennachie View in Inverurie.

The Peterhead Care Village would feature a care home boasting 60 en-suite rooms over three wings, a community hub for day service provision and eight supported accommodation bungalows or flats.

The hub is likely to be used by people with learning disabilities – ultimately replacing Willowbank Day Centre which is in poor condition and also now too large given the move to mainstream community provision under the IDEA ‘Inclusive Day Services – Enabling Aberdeenshire’ principles.

Mr Simpson, will explain: “The project group has gone back to consider whether the Ugie site might be a possibility for the new care village but the limitations became apparent.

“In order to accommodate everything within specification there would be a requirement to go beyond two floors, making emergency evacuation more complex and also losing the benefits of the ‘village feel’ across the site and natural neighbouring community interactions.

“The site at Kinmundy therefore has clear advantages. It is also now confirmed as the preferred site for the new Peterhead Community Campus, creating even better opportunities for inter-generational partnerships.”

It is envisaged that the care home would be designed and furnished in line with good practice guidance for dementia-friendly spaces, with Smart technology playing a significant part in maximising independence and managing risk.

Under the proposals, inpatient services will be consolidated within the Summers Ward at Peterhead Community Hospital where bed occupancy has been “low for a number of years”.

Mr Simpson states: “Both Ravenscraig and Summers Ward have had staffing challenges in recent years and bringing the two teams together would increase resilience.

“Summers Ward already has very significant experience of providing rehab care so learning needs would be minimal. The proposal also keeps the service local to Peterhead, again a priority identified by the community from previous engagement.”

The project board has also recommended that ‘interim care’ beds continue to be supported in a local care home.

Commenting on the wider concerns among the Peterhead community over the loss of the Ugie Hospital, Mr Simpson states: “It is acknowledged that there is understandable local interest in what would happen to the Ugie site if services do move elsewhere, but this is obviously beyond the scope of the IJB and would fall to NHS Grampian to determine in line with their Asset Management Strategy.

“The Ugie site is one of two sites identified in the Local Development Plan with potential for a future replacement health centre, but it should be stressed that the existing site does have limitations in terms of size and there is no commitment or capital yet identified for such a development.”