Leading-Edge Hertfordshire Care Home To Give Adults With Brain Injuries New Independence

The multi-million pound project will transform the former Nightingale Nursing Home in Ware into a state of the art, life-changing 15-person residence.

The Disabilities Trust, which is committed to improving the lives of people with acquired brain injuries across the UK, is working in partnership with Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care Board to open a new care home in Hertfordshire. The new service will provide quality neuro-behavioural rehabilitation for adults with complex needs after brain injury, enabling individuals to participate in life as fully as possible and to enjoy as much independence as they can.

The care home, which is set to open in late 2024, with building work scheduled to commence in early 2023, will see the former 28-bed nursing home on New Road become a leading-edge, 15-bed, fully assisted residence. This will comprise bedrooms and self-contained living spaces to provide cost effective rehabilitation and care, which will significantly reduce pressure on NHS services.

West Waddy Archadia Architects, has been commissioned to design the service and associated landscaping, drawing on the firm’s rich experience in the field of creating homely housing and health solutions that break the mould of traditional healthcare settings. Design of the property will employ the latest research into psychologically-informed environments, meaning fixtures, fittings and design elements that would normally have a clinical aesthetic are reimagined to allow the environment to look and feel like a home, rather than a hospital or care facility, placing the emotional and psychological needs of the residents first.

Mark Slater, Design Director, says: “We are delighted to be part of the team delivering this state-of-the-art residence for The Disabilities Trust. We are looking forward to creating person-centered homes to aid rehabilitation and recovery whilst making the most of the character of the current property on site.”

This revolutionary approach has been proven to accelerate rehabilitation and assist in the prevention of relapse. Irene Sobowale, Chief Executive at The Disabilities Trust, comments:

“As part of this development, The Disabilities Trust will carry out research into psychologically-informed environments for people with a brain injury, which takes into account the psychological and emotional, as well as physical needs, of an individual. In the case of this new care home, this approach will soften the harder edges of a traditional care home environment to aid rehabilitation and recovery. We are delighted to be working with pioneers of this concept, accessible design specialists, WWA and Motion Spot, to develop a space that will influence the wellbeing and progress of the residents, whilst supporting the Government’s agenda for increased independent living that decreases reliance on the NHS.”

This new care home is part of The Disabilities Trust’s mission to expand its current network of 15 UK-wide hospitals and rehabilitation centres, to help people living with brain injuries regain skills they have lost, through neurorehabilitation which includes physiotherapy, psychological therapy and neuro-behavioral therapy.

The hospital in Hertford is set to create around 40 local jobs, ranging from clinical practitioners, therapists, and health care workers, to roles that assist in the day-to-day running of the service. And the trailblazing design will not stop with the residents - with staff breakout spaces and behind the scenes areas all benefiting from the same approach in optimising wellbeing and comfort for all the residents, staff, and visitors.

From rehabilitation and long-term care in supported living accommodation, to community support services, collaboration is key to The Disabilities Trust’s approach, seeing it work closely with brain injury patients to help them to move forward, become more independent and improve their quality of life. As such, the designers of the facility will team up with prospective service users and clinical staff to incorporate carefully considered sensory experiences, smart lighting, Artificial Intelligence tech, Virtual Reality and Internet of Things (IoT) that supports optimum functioning and long-term independence.