Norden House: a ‘household’ approach to dementia care

The Care Home Environment editor Matt Seex visited Norden House – the Healthcare Management Trust’s new specialist dementia home in West Sussex – to chat with manager Annie Lewis about the home’s ‘household’ model of care and its subtle but effective approach to ensuring residents living with dementia maintain their dignity and independence

Located just south of Climping — a small West Sussex village a few miles from the seaside towns of Littlehampton, Worthing, and Bognor Regis, and the historic market town of Arundel — Norden House is a 64-bed, specialist dementia care home set in picturesque, rural surroundings.

Developer Brackley Investments — which specialises in care sector development — sourced the site and obtained planning for the £10m build, enlisting operator HMT (the Healthcare Management Trust) before construction began on this turnkey project. While the basic design of Norden House — the shape, form, size, and scale of the home, as well as the number of beds — was 'set' at the design and planning stage, HMT helped to shape the internal environment of the home before building works — courtesy of contractor Highwood Construction — got underway.

Norden House was designed by Brackley alongside London-based architects Hunters, incorporating University of Stirling dementia design guidance, and with the aim of creating a care home that feels homely rather than institutional (aided, as it turned out, by the planning process, which limited the height of the building). The home was scheduled to open in May 2023, but the pandemic and the war in Ukraine conspired to delay the opening of Norden House by around six months.

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