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IBI Group unveils new dementia care facility in Berkshire

A new care home for people with dementia has completed construction in Bracknell, Berkshire.

The Heathlands Integrated Health and Care Home is the result of a five-year, £11m, joint commissioning strategy between Bracknell Forest Council, Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group, and Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust. The home will offer both long-term dementia care and an intermediate care unit designed to help reduce prolonged hospital stays.

The home was designed by IBI Group, which provided architecture, landscape, and interior design for the 66-bed facility. IBI placed sustainability at the heart of the design process, with the building achieving a BREEAM rating of Very Good. The build features energy-efficient lighting, solar power generation, and air source heat pump technology.

The interior design is based upon the idea of a sensory journey, with a variety of colours and textures accenting fittings and finishes. Sensory consoles with end-of-corridor respite seating areas incorporate items intended to stimulate the senses, and each bedroom has a memory box for personal objects and photographs, allowing residents to recognise their own front door. Enhanced infection control measures and the provision of staff meeting places were key considerations in the design process.

Two distinct gardens have been installed, with raised planting beds and areas of shrub and herbaceous planting. Paths through the gardens form loops, eliminating obstacles such as gates and dead ends which might discourage residents from taking exercise.

Heathlands was delivered by contractor Stepnell and was officially opened by HRH The Duke of Gloucester.

Rajesh Sinha, programme manager at Bracknell Forest Council, said: “The council, in collaboration with its health partners, wanted to construct a shared facility which integrated distinct clinical and residential areas. The split site levels and planning bye-laws created constraints. However, IBI successfully delivered a balance between the spatial requirements of the operators, as well as resident and patient comfort.” 

Maarit Heinonen-Smith, senior living and care lead at IBI, said: “The Heathlands' design process involved a high amount of end user and client engagement, which created a design that supports the health and wellbeing of the residents. Independence plays a large role in the success of a project like this, which is why we designed spaces to minimise staff intervention – essential for resident confidence and autonomy.”

Image © Alex Antitch for IBI Group

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