Wickham Market celebrates progress on ‘pioneering’ new care hub at Lehmann House
A Suffolk village has marked a major milestone in its “pioneering” approach to integrating health and social care.
Around 170 people gathered at Lehmann House in Wickham Market on Friday to celebrate the completion of phase one in its redevelopment as a community care hub. The project, led by De Vere Care, combines a range of services run by private, public and voluntary sector organisations. It will include a 34-bed care home, specialising in respite care for patients who are well enough to leave hospital but not yet ready to return home. Parts of the centre will also be used by other health and social care organisations, as well as emergency services.
Two wings of the facility have been completed and its Aspire day centre is now operational, while the remainder is expected to be up and running later this month.
De Vere’s managing director Sunny Sandhu said the project offered a “pioneering” approach to health and social care.
“Wickham Market could set an example about how to achieve good standards of care,” he added.
“This is the way to go about it. You cannot just leave it to the local authority or the nursing homes – everyone has a part to play.”
Mr Sandhu also praised the community for their support, which had brought a “whirlwind of excitement”.
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“People in the village have been very accommodating and we feel that we’ve really been embraced by the community,” he added.
He said the new approach at Lehmann House would avoid the pitfalls of bureaucracy to ensure people receive appropriate care.
Guests at the event included Nicci Gerrard, an author, journalist and dementia care campaigner, who spoke about her support for the project, and Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dan Poulter, who also works as an NHS doctor.
Dr Poulter said: “Having worked hard to help keep Lehmann House open originally, it is fantastic to learn that Wickham Market will once again have a care home which will be integrated into the local community.
“I was delighted to be able to attend the celebratory event on Friday to mark the completion of phase one in the redevelopment of Lehmann House and it is clear to me that the fantastic and pioneering community effort led by Bryan Hall and Pam Bell, and supported by De Vere Care will benefit many.”