Care home scheme for ex-NHS office building

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PLANS to transform Thingoe House in Bury St Edmunds into a care home for the elderly have been put forward to St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

If the scheme is approved, the site, which was used as district council offices until 1972 and later as offices for Suffolk West Primary Care Trust, will have 56 one- and two-bedroom extra care units, manned 24 hours a day by care staff.

Patricia Warby, St Edmundsbury borough councillor for Eastgate ward, said the site along Northgate Street had been left unused for far too long.

She said: “We need places for the elderly and a lot of places have gone down of late.

“Many care homes have gone by the way so I think it is a good idea for provide somewhere for the vulnerable elderly.

“It will certainly improve the area – it is about time the building got put back into use.

“I often get people saying to me that they are trying to find places in care homes but empty places have been getting harder to find.”

The development, put forward by YourLife Management Services, will provide accommodation for people typically over the age of 80.

Of the 56 emergency alarmed units, 42 will be one-bedroom apartments and 14 will be two-bedroom.

The site will include a residents’ lounge, a restaurant with catering kitchen, a hobbies room, a landscaped garden and accommodation for the team of carers.

In total, the home will be staffed by 14 full time and nine part-time employees who will be on call 24 hours a day.

Cllr Warby said the new care home would help to open up the property market for first time buyers in Bury.

She said: “If we can help to get vulnerable elderly people into other accommodation it will leave houses open for other people.

“The emphasis now on elderly people in homes is getting them an individual flat but overseen by a team of staff. I think it would be good to bring Thingoe House into use and for such a good cause.”

The proposals were submitted to St Edmundsbury Borough Council on August 26 and formally registered on September 5.