Northern News : November 3
Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Transportable homes, baches, school rooms and offce buildings 0800 FAST BUILD | 0800 327 828 www.advancebuild.co.nz Elderly unit to expand Big plans: Garry Ware outside the Kaeo health centre that could be in line for a $6 million upgrade. Photo: RICHARD EDMONDSON By RICHARD EDMONDSON IT S bold, visionary and the most ambitious project the Whangaroa Health Services Trust has attempted. But the community-run body is confident it can raise the $6 million needed to upgrade and expand its 64-year-old health centre in Kaeo. Its 20-year strategy includes plans to add a 14-bed elderly care wing to the centre (stage one), refur- bish a 20-bed elderly care unit (stage two) and modern- ise and enlarge a GP clinic (stage three). Chief executive Garry Ware says the trust has 30 people on a waiting list for beds in its elderly unit which has permanent residents and offers hospital care. Future demand is likely to be strong because the number of people in Whangaroa and Doubtless Bay aged 75 or older is projected to rise from 370 in 2011 to 520 in 2025. The trust needs to plan for growth by increasing residen- tial and hospital service capacity for the elderly. Our waiting list tells us we have the growth. The data is also telling us we need more beds. The trust plans to apply for bank loans to finance the $3m extension which will be of a similar design and stan- dard to a 16-bed wing opened at Switzer Residential Care in Kaitaia in September. A business case staff are finalising for trustees approval proposes to use Northland District Health Board subsidies to repay loans in 10 years if the pro- ject goes ahead. For a small provider like us to try to meet our popu- lation demands, we need to go into debt servicing. The trust has discussed a concept plan with banks and hopes to lodge loan applications by the end of the year. Mr Ware says the elderly care wing could be built and ready for business on land between the centre and its emergency helicopter pad within 18 months if finance is approved. The addition will increase the value of the centre and generate revenue, allowing the trust to plan stages two and three of its capital works programme. Banks will loan up to 60 percent of the value of land and buildings, he says. The trust is also looking at ways to increase the supply of low-cost housing and home support services for elderly people in Whangaroa so they can live independently for longer. The whole philosophy is about extending where we start caring for our elderly.
November 10th 2010