Cornmill Court hailed in report

Julie Pearson, Housing Care Manager at Cornmill Court in Galashiels (second from right) with housing care workers. from left: Myra Kennedy, Julita Szymkowicz and Donna Doogan.
Julie Pearson, Housing Care Manager at Cornmill Court in Galashiels (second from right) with housing care workers. from left: Myra Kennedy, Julita Szymkowicz and Donna Doogan.

Cornmill Court, a housing with care development in Galashiels, has been singled out for praise by a new independent report.

The report, commissioned by the building owners the Trust Housing Association, and prepared by Housing & Support Partnership and Imogen Blood & Associates.

It applauds the 38-unit development as being valued by its tenants, demonstrating high standards of social care and support, while assisting people to have a good quality of life and offering good value for money for local authorities.

And it concludes that the housing with care model of integrated services for older people offered at Cornmill Court could offer an affordable solution to the growing issue of long-term delayed discharges in hospitals.

Delighted housing care manager, Julie Pearson, told us: “Things like this are a great boost to staff morale.

“We are delivering a flexible service at times that suit the tenants, so we are not running on the hoof from flat to flat, telling them they have to get up right now as we have to be somewhere else ... with all our staff being in-house, we can go into the tenants’ flat and if they are still sleeping, we can go back later, and it makes it so much easier for them.”

Trust Housing Association has been operating as a registered social landlord for over 40 years and today manages more than 100 developments across Scotland, serving around 2,500 customers, with a particular focus on older people.

Housing with care enables elderly tenants to continue to live independently while also receiving anything from less than five hours to more than 25 hours of personal care each week.

Cornmill Court resident Muriel Brock said: “I love the location of my flat and I particularly like the safety and security it offers. Where I lived before wasn’t so good. Now, I feel like I’m in heaven.

“Here, I can socialise with my neighbours and we have a lot in common, but if I want to be on my own, I can do that too and have my privacy. The staff and managers here are very good – they are always willing to help me. The staff visit me regularly and always have time for a chat and a catch up on all the news.”

Latest official statistics show that three quarters of all delayed discharges recorded in NHS Borders hospitals are for health and social care reasons – and that around 16% of these cases are delayed for more than six weeks. In 2013/14, delayed discharges were estimated to have cost NHS Scotland £114 million.

Commenting on the report, Trust Housing Association chief executive Rhona McLeod said: “This report is a real endorsement of the hard work and dedication of our housing with care team at Cornmill Court and across all of our developments.

“It shows that tenants really value the sense of freedom and personal independence housing with care gives them. The cost benefit analysis also presents housing with care as a more affordable solution than residential care for local authorities, particularly for older people on lower incomes in receipt of substantial levels of personal care on a weekly basis.”

The evaluation which the report is based on considered seven housing with care developments operated by Trust Housing Association across the south and west of Scotland, and comprising more than 250 individual housing units, and 71% of tenants covered by the study were aged 75 years or older and 43% were aged 85 years or above.