Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Final NHS campus to close in Sandwell

The last long-stay NHS campus in Sandwell, West Midlands, is to close later this year, with work having begun on a new supported housing development in West Bromwich for people with learning disabilities.

The project to build supported housing at Sussex Avenue and Old Meeting Street is a joint venture by Sandwell Council, Bromford Group and Mansell Construction. Bromford Group will also provide the intensive housing support. The Department of Health contributed a capital grant to make the scheme happen. The new development will close the door on long stay NHS campus in Sandwell as the final group of people will transfer into supported living provisions by December.

Barbara Peacock, Sandwell’s corporate director – people, said: “This project represents real and positive change in the lives of 25 Sandwell citizens with a learning disability who will move from a traditional model of nursing care provision into their own homes with cost effective support designed around their needs and aspirations.” Since 2009 the council has moved 17 people out of campus accommodation and into supported living arrangements. This new development will see the last 8 people who are still in NHS campus accommodation move into their own home.

Sandwell’s Cabinet member for adult care councillor Ann Jaron said: “This is about moving people out of long stay hospitals into a supportive living arrangement where they will have more choice and control over their lives. “People who have already moved into the new style dwellings have reported real improvements in their health and quality of life including independence and social contacts. “Think Local will also work alongside contractors to boost employment and training opportunities for local people and for people with learning disabilities who will work towards gaining a NVQ qualification as part of their placement.”

Cabinet member for jobs and economy councillor Ian Jones said: “With the inclusion of these two locations the whole scheme will create 55 jobs, available for local people, to provide care and support services for people moving into supported living accommodation by Dimensions and Affinity Trust.” Following public consultation neighbouring residents gave their full support to the idea of building these new flats and bungalows for people with learning disabilities.

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