Refurbished Edinburgh apartments offer home from home to hospital patients

Sixteen refurbished apartments in Sighthill are helping people to build meaningful lives at home following time spent at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

Refurbished Edinburgh apartments offer home from home to hospital patients

St Stephens Court offers a homely place for tenants after time in hospital

Originally a sheltered housing complex, a building in the Calders has been transformed by the City of Edinburgh Council to provide high-quality places to stay. The Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership is now funding ongoing care and support for tenants at the St Stephen’s service as they recover in a homely setting.

To celebrate a year since completion and the service becoming fully functional, members of the Partnership met with tenants and those who have been working on the project to congratulate them.

Over the last five years, Edinburgh’s Health and Social Care Partnership has enhanced and developed services that support people in their own homes and within shared living resources in the community. In line with the Partnership’s vision to further shift the balance of care, by increasing the provision of supported accommodation, the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board (EIJB) announced last month that it will accelerate this ‘home first’ approach.

Angus McCann, chair of the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board, said: “Our aim is to provide the right support to help people recover after a stay in hospital. For many who have experienced crisis, going home to a safe, warm place to stay with access to support is crucial to prevent readmission and it can help people to live independently again.

“Places like St Stephen’s are vital and it is great to see the success of these new homes a year after completion. The refurbishment of the property was coordinated by the City of Edinburgh Council’s housing team and we are indebted to our colleagues who have delivered this excellent building. The Health and Social Care Partnership worked with service users, carers, staff at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital and third sector providers to design and deliver these places to live so that we ensure they provide good outcomes for people. My thanks to everyone who has contributed to its success.”

Refurbished Edinburgh apartments offer home from home to hospital patients

(from left) Angus Mccann, chair of the EIJB; Keith Milligan of Carr Gomm; Joanna Cherry QC; Anne Marie Logan from Penumbra and Marion Findlay from Volunteer Edinburgh

Day-to-day access to health and social care support services is provided at St Stephen’s, working with Carr Gomm, NHS Lothian, mental health charity Penumbra and Volunteer Edinburgh to support tenants to develop recovery and community connections which, for some people, will result in moving on to a long-term home in the community.

Craig Sutherland, senior operations manager for East of Scotland for Carr Gomm, said: “Carr Gomm are delighted to be working together with the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership to support people to transform their lives. It’s fantastic to be a part of people’s journeys as they leave hospital and move into their new home, with their own aspirations and dreams, and begin to settle into their new communities.”

As part of the mental health services provided by the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, St Stephen’s also provides access to community mental health services and a range of 24/7 supported community placements to help people make the transition to independent living.

Nigel Henderson, chief executive of Penumbra, added: “Penumbra is pleased to be a key partner in this work. Our paid peer workers are people who bring their own experience of mental ill health and recovery to their role.

“They work alongside people by drawing on their lived experience and act as mentors and guides whilst offering connected, compassionate, support. St Stephen’s is one of many examples where we partner and share our expertise as the largest employer of mental health peer workers in Scotland.”

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