Work is now well under way on the construction of a new facility for adults with learning disabilities.
The £5 million project involves the creation of a Day Services hub within the Noble’s Hospital Estate in Braddan, off Ballaoates Road.
Approved at the July sitting of Tynwald, the capital scheme is aimed at modernising the provision of Adult Social Care Services operated by the Department of Health and Social Care.
A breaking ground ceremony was held recently to mark the occasion with Health and Social Care Minister Kate Beecroft MHK on site to cut a sod of grass.
Mrs Beecroft said: ‘I am delighted to be here today to mark the beginning of construction work.
‘We are fortunate to be able to invest in new facilities like this, which will serve some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
‘Providing modern and fit-for-purpose buildings makes a real difference to the quality of life of service users and helps us to deliver our care and support to a high standard.’
Day Services for people with learning disabilities are currently provided across four main sites: Eastcliffe Resource Centre in Victoria Road, Douglas; Eastcliffe Resource Industrial Centre (ERIC) at Noble’s Hospital Estate; Greenfield Garden Centre in Douglas; and Mooragh View in Ramsey.
Once completed, the new facility will enable the consolidation of current services by moving activities now undertaken at Eastcliffe Resource Centre and Greenfield Garden Centre to the new site, which already accommodates Eastcliffe Resource Industrial Centre.
There are approximately 300 people on the Island with a complex learning disability, and around 85 attend Day Services on a daily basis. Since 1991 the Isle of Man has worked to develop community-based services with a greater mix of residential care, respite care, supported living and day care services.
This development will enable the Department to bring day care facilities and current employment enterprises together at a single location where users will be able to engage in a range of activities, take up productive employment opportunities – including a café and shop selling garden centre produce – and receive support in modern, purpose-built surroundings.
Clare Bettison MHK, Member for Adult Social Care, said: ‘This is a significant and important investment by Government in a vital facility. It will ensure that we have an infrastructure that meets modern standards whilst freeing up existing sites for alternative uses, which we can use to broaden our range of services.’
The construction of the new facility is being undertaken by Cedar Developments with completion of the building and the handover to the Department planned for early 2019.
The project is in line with the Department of Health and Social Care’s five-year strategy, which aims to ‘work in partnership inside and outside government to ensure that arrangements exist and are developed for all vulnerable people to achieve their full potential’, and the Inclusive and Caring Island strategic objective outlined in the Programme for Government.
Photo - Health and Social Care Minister Kate Beecroft MHK undertakes the sod-cutting ceremony with, from left, DHSC Chief Executive Malcolm Couch, Operational Lead Adult Social Care Jon Carey, Director of Adult Social Services Cath Hayhow, Member for Adult Social Care Clare Bettison MHK, Sarah Morton and Pascale Despringre from Learning Disability Services, and Cedar Developments Director Alex Burnett.