Dementia Centre of Excellence opens in Burton

6th February 2019

The first residents have moved into a brand new, purpose-built specialist dementia Centre of Excellence in Staffordshire.

Part funded by £1m of Homes England grant, the £6.4m development at Amber Wood in Burton has been built to the Stirling Gold Standard. The care model delivers the Eden Alternative philosophy of care which promotes independence and person-centred care for people with dementia.

Built by energy and regeneration specialist ENGIE, in partnership with Staffordshire County Council and Accord Group, the centre offers 45 rooms each with en-suite facilities. Customers also have access to communal areas in a household model including kitchen, dining and lounge facilities. Additional facilities include a coffee area, shop and hairdressers.

So far, 26 customers have moved from Hillfield House in Stretton into Amber Wood and others have been nominated by the County Council.

Maxine Espley, Executive Director of Health, Social Care and Support at Accord, said: “I am truly delighted to announce that the first customers have moved into Amber Wood. Staffordshire County Council identified the need to provide specialist care and support to people living with dementia and asked Accord to work alongside them to deliver this. Shortly after opening the building I was delighted to welcome the Leader of the County Council, Councillor Philip Atkins to see first-hand the care being delivered there and the excellent facilities.

“We have developed a unique care model that utilises our significant experience and expertise of working with people with dementia; every aspect of Amber Wood has been specifically designed and built to provide the very best care and support. Our specialist care team delivers personalised, high quality care in line with the Eden Alternative Philosophy. This is an internationally recognised care model that transforms care environments into a home environment. It focuses on person-centred care, promoting engagement and activities to eliminate loneliness, helplessness, and boredom.

“To be able to deliver this level of care in a Stirling Gold Standard facility is fantastic. To achieve Stirling Gold Standard means that every aspect of the building, from the layout, right through to the smallest details such as the position and the colours of doors, the location of furniture, even the colour and design of the individual bathrooms have been specifically created to support people living with dementia. Very few homes achieve this standard and we are truly delighted to be able to provide this level of care and accommodation here at Amber Wood.”

Head of Home Ownership and Supply in the Midlands for Homes England, Caroline Cormack, added: “Homes England is committed to working with housing associations to increase the delivery of affordable housing that really meets people’s needs.

“It’s wonderful to know that our grant is helping people with dementia continue to live independent lives in Burton.”

County Councillor Alan White, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing at Staffordshire County Council, said: “Dementia is one of the biggest challenges facing the county, so it is important that people have access to the care and support they need to lead long, fulfilling lives

“This centre will enable us to give people coping with dementia a better quality of life, helping them to lead fulfilling, independent lives for as long as possible and provide continued support for their care needs.”