Last week our deputy director Dennis Holmes’s blog talked about the changes that have taken place since the 1980’s and the need to work differently. The new Assisted Living Leeds centre is a great example of joined up thinking and joint working across the services. The building work has just started, down by The Armouries, to create a centre that will provide the widest range of services to support people with physical, learning and care needs. It’s planned to open in the autumn of 2014.
Liz Ward is leading the project and here she tells us about the vision:
“We wanted to create a new one-stop centre so that people with physical, learning and care needs, and their families could have one place to go to get an idea of what type of equipment and other ‘assistive technology’ is available to support them in Leeds. Staff from across social care and health will be welcome too.
After a lot of time talking to people about what they wanted and finding a suitable building we now have the funding to go ahead – it’s a really exciting project.
The new centre will be in Leeds Dock (this used to be known as Clarence Dock) and will house a range of services to support people to live safely and independently.
Building work has already begun on the scheme, which Leeds City Council are delivering in partnership with the NHS, to transform the old Leeds College of Building into the new base. It will provide a new home for Leeds Community Equipment Service – the service that provides equipment for daily living and nursing needs to people at home. They deal with equipment right across the city – last year 80,000 items were provided and 57,000 collected for re use. The new building will provide an excellent standard of warehousing, cleaning and refurbishment of the equipment.
The building will also house the Council’s Telecare service. Telecare is the hi-tech system that allows older or vulnerable residents to live safely and independently at home by providing 24 hours a day monitoring using sensors and alarms. This service will operate from the new building – including the telephone response centre which runs 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
The Blue Badge assessment service will also be here for people who have difficulty walking and are applying for a badge to help them with parking.
People will be able to contact us by phone or email or call in to find out about all the different types of equipment adaptations and other technology that they can use to help them at home. There will be space for people to try equipment and we will train staff from health and social care on the use of equipment at the building.’
What to call the new centre …
To get the project from the drawing board to the building site has been lots of hard work. Many barriers have been overcome and difficult problems sorted out but one question has always remained. What should we call this new centre?
The difficulty in naming the building has always been choosing a name that concisely describes and represents the services that will be there. Consultation with service users, carers, children, health and social care colleagues, and staff who will be based there helped us to create a shortlist. Following a vote, the Project Board was then able to recommended the name “Assisted Living Leeds” which has now been agreed by Councillor Ogilvie (the Executive Member for Adult Social Care).
The services operating from the building will keep their own names and identities, but we will work together under the Assisted Living Leeds umbrella to give people in Leeds a more joined up service.
We look forward to welcoming you to one of the Open Days at Assisted Living Leeds once the building opens in September 2014. In the meantime we will be keeping everyone up to date with news of how the building work is progressing, and also with the ideas so far about the second phase of development. See our Twitter feed @ ATHubLeeds and our page on the Leeds City Council website.