The first residents of a £7.5 million development that will transform care for the elderly in Kirkcaldy will move into their new homes today.
Known as Ostlers House, the Fife Council-run 60-bed home near the John Smith Business Park has replaced the outdated Raith Gates and Appin House facilities, which will now close.
A day care centre and 25 “extra care” housing units have also been created for tenants with disabilities who require support and there are plans to develop a community cafe.
Residents being transferred from the two old homes have been consulted throughout in a process hailed by the Care Inspectorate as “sector leading”.
An article on how the council has handled the consultation which included letting residents choose their own furniture and soft furnishings will be included in a future edition of the Care Inspectorate magazine.
The Kirkcaldy care village is the first of three being created by the local authority, with the second due to open in Lumphinnans next year and a third to follow in Glenrothes in 2017.
Louise Bell, manager of the council’s residential and day services, said all but two staff from Raith Gates and Appin House had been redeployed to Ostlers House.
Health care staff will also work directly from the care village.
“In consultation with NHS colleagues it has been agreed we will have a nurse practitioner deployed to the care home through the hospital at home team,” Ms Bell said.
“They will act as a liaison with GP services.
“Discussions are ongoing with NHS colleagues about integrating a short-term re-enablement unit.
“We anticipate we will be able to integrate that unit early in 2016.”
Councillor Neil Crooks, chairman of the council’s Kirkcaldy area committee, said it was a “colossal honour” to finally have the home occupied.
“It was a great concept and the idea has grown to something practical on the ground,” he said.
“When you visit Ostlers House and look at the future of care for the elderly in Kirkcaldy, it’s transformational.
“It’s been a dream. This is a panacea and it’s wonderful to see it.
“Delivery has been as smooth as we could make it and the benefits will be elderly people getting what they deserve in later life,” Mr Crooks added.