A NEW £7 million flagship dementia centre in Caernarfon is in the running for a care home design Oscar – and a children’s hospice has landed a windfall as a result.
Bryn Seiont Newydd has made it to the final three in the Best New Care Home – Elderly category of the 2016 Pinders UK Health Care Design Awards.
The centre was opened by the Pendine Park care organisation last November to provide specialist care for 71 people with dementia on the site of the former Ysbyty Bryn Seiont community hospital in Pant Road, creating more than 100 new jobs.
Set in five acres, it is a tranquil setting surrounded by gardens, trees and countryside.
Sixteen Care Living apartments are planned for summer 2016, to allow couples to stay together.
The judges presented proprietor Mario Kreft with a finalist’s trophy and a cheque for £500 to mark the shortlisting which he immediately handed over to Tŷ Gobaith Children’s Hospice of which Pendine is a staunch supporter.
The awards, founded in the mid-1990s, aim to promote and recognise the very best developments in all types of care-related property, whilst the categories seek to acknowledge the contribution made by home owners, designers and architects to the well-being and quality of life for those in their care.
Pinders director and chair of the judges Jon Chapman said: “Bryn Seiont Newydd is very impressive and has reached the final three entrants in its category, all of whose developments we have been visiting.
“We’ve already seen it on paper so coming here has brought it all to life for us.
“My impression is that it’s very well put together and very well thought out.”
Another of the judges, Lesley Palmer, of the dementia design school at Stirling University, said: “It’s an intelligent design scheme which shows that they have understood the importance of small households but also the importance of being able to allow people to move freely and socialise in other clusters and communal areas.
“It has very generous space standards throughout and has an appropriate, somewhat muted interior design scheme throughout which is responsive to residents.”
Also impressed was the third judge, Khosro Bashi, from the specialist firm of care home architects Tooley & Foster.
He said of Bryn Seiont Newydd: “The space values are very generous and it’s beautifully decorated. Overall I’m really impressed. It’s very good.
“Lots of thought has gone into design and there’ a lot of design ethos here. Particularly, allowing people to wander into whichever area of the home they want to go is a really nice feature.
“That is certainly very welcome because you don’t get that in any other home that I know, where it’s closed doors everywhere.
“There’s a lot of freedom here and freedom is a big thing in specialist units like this.”
Mr Kreft said: “To be shortlisted is the Pinders UK Health care Design Awards, acknowledged as the Oscars of care home design, is fantastic.
“We believe that we are providing something in north west Wales that is very special and we think it’s going to meet the needs of the community.
“We’re delighted that the judges have been so pleased with many elements that we have incorporated into our design.
“We had identified this area as one where there was a lack of investment in new car homes and we felt that North West Wales deserves this kind of investment.”
He added: “We are also delighted to be able to present the £500 cheque we received from Pinders to mark our shortlisting to Ty Gobaith Children’s Hospice, which is a cause we are always more than happy to support as it does such amazing work for the local community.”
Katrina Lawson, area fundraiser for Tŷ Gobaith, said: “Being supported in this way by local businesses is vital to the continuity of the hospice.
“Ty Gobaith and out sister hospice, Hope House, need £5 million a year to keep running. We rely on donations for 85 per cent of our income, so we are delighted to have the support of Bryn Seiont Newydd and the Pendine Park care organisation.
“We wish everyone the very best. The new home is doing an excellent job in the community and has employed lots of local people.”