Major Nightingale redevelopment designed to help a frail clientele


Work is starting on a £6 million redevelopment scheme at the Nightingale home in south London designed to meet the changing needs of increasingly frail residents.

Specialist architects have planned a unit for dementia sufferers based on the latest research about how they are affected by their surroundings. The new accommodation will include soothing colour schemes and “wander routes”, allowing residents to walk safely through the building.

There will be a private garden for the unit’s 40 residents, and a “reminiscence kitchen”, where therapeutic programmes can be held. Following the construction of the new unit, existing residential accommodation will also be improved.

“Accommodation that was acceptable 25 years ago is not acceptable today,” explained Nightingale’s chief executive Leon Smith. “There is a big change in the profile of the people coming in as residents.” They were frail, immobile and many were suffering from dementia.

“Rooms that were suitable for much fitter and younger residents are not suitable today.”

As part of the building programme, which will take up to seven years, the popular arts and crafts centre will be relocated, to allow better access.

Around £3 million has already been raised towards the redevelopment and the new unit will be named the Vivienne and Maurice Wohl Building to honour major donors. Nightingale aims to bring in the remainder as the work progresses. “We are confident the community will respond,” Mr Smith added. “It is not the best time to be raising money and it will be a challenge.”

The redevelopment will not create extra places at the 200-capacity Clapham home, whose care has been assessed as “excellent” by inspectors.

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