Investment of £350k helps bring Alnwick care home up to date

Hillcrest Care Home in Alnwick.
Hillcrest Care Home in Alnwick.
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An Alnwick care home has spent the winter months under renovation and is now open again and welcoming new visitors and residents.

Hillcrest, a 48-bed home off South Road, was a maternity hospital in the 1950s, remembered by many of its current visitors and residents as the place where their children and grandchildren were born.

An investment of more than £350,000 has been made in the building, which was built in the 1800s, bringing it up to date in terms of modern internal and external appearance, and care provision.

The home has been fitted with new floors throughout, with updated decoration in communal areas.

The original part of the building has had en-suite facilities added to most of the bedrooms that lacked them and renovations to the existing ones.A dining room on each floor has been fitted with a new kitchenette and fresh decoration.

A prominent focus for the renovation has been the introduction of a dementia strategy, which the Executive Care Group has been implementing across a number of its homes.

This includes the inclusion and development of tactile and interactive areas within the home, such as along the hallways and outside rooms, where residents can feel and hold artefacts that spark memory and conversation.

One such area relates to cinema, with film reel and cinema chairs, while another is the seaside, with beach holidays, the Royal Mile and the farming alley.

Feedback from residents and their families has been excellent, with carers noticing a marked change in residents who might previously have been reluctant to communicate.

Chris Anderson, home manager, said; “We are all delighted with the renovations in the home. The dementia strategy is working well and our residents are interacting with staff and visitors, using the articles as an aid to conversation. The home looks clean and bright.”

The home has recently launched a weekly coffee morning on a Thursday, from 10.30am to noon, which is open to the general public.

In December, we reported that Hillcrest had been rated as requiring improvement by the Care Quality Commission, but a spokeswoman said that the new operator had identified issues with the environment of the home and works were well underway.