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Pioneering care centre opens in South London 10.12.10

A trailblazing new resource centre which is being hailed as the future of care in the UK has opened in south London.

Pic from left to right – Paul Burstow MP; Bill Gillespie, chief executive officer NHS Sutton and Merton; and Cllr Colin Stears

The Inclusion Centre in the London Borough of Sutton will offer individually tailored care to adults with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities.

Opened today (Friday 10 December) by Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Burstow, the centre will be the first of its kind in the UK to offer bespoke combined therapeutic and social care.

The project is seen as the way forward in care of this kind as it allows those who attend the centre to live with much more ease in the community instead of at care homes. 

Cllr Colin Stears, Executive Member for Adult Social Services and Health on Sutton Council, said: "This is truly a remarkable building. Everything, from the design of the building to the range of programmes on offer, has been thought out so that it maximises the good it can do for residents with profound disabilities.

"Living in the community offers much more freedom, the chance to build relationships and generally a better quality of life. This new centre will now guarantee that these benefits are matched by excellent bespoke care."

Built in partnership with NHS Sutton and Merton, the new centre boasts a number of innovative features.

It has a unique design of 14 sides, to emphasise individuality, and creates an interior that helps people who use the centre to orientate themselves. It contains a giant internal spiral ramp and lift so that those in large wheelchairs can access different levels.

Three 'sensory rooms' with an assortment of lights, sounds and tactile objects provide an excellent avenue for learning and therapy. Uniquely, the site will also offer an aquatic therapy pool as well as healthcare-trained professionals who will run art, drama and music sessions.

Mr Burstow described the centre as a "bridge", allowing users to access services inside the building as well as opportunities outside it.

"I think we should look at what's being achieved here and the potential it can open up, and use it as an example for other projects."

The centre can cater to up to 25 visitors at a time and is expected to run several sessions a day, facilitated by extended opening hours on evenings and weekends.

Anne Topping, whose son Matthew attends the centre, said: "Matthew really enjoys coming here. I'm sure it will make a big difference to his life."

Roy Christie, individual budgets manage for the Royal Mencap Society, added: "It provides stimulating opportunities for some of the most vulnerable people of Sutton. 

"It facilitates social inclusion by supporting people with profound learning and multiple disabilities to develop skills and confidence to use community resources. It is a superb centre supporting the innovative community support services for adults with learning disabilities in Sutton."

Last updated: Friday, 09 September 2011

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