Council awards £150,000 grants to improve care homes in Plymouth


Councillor Lynda Bowyer joins the team at Durnsford Lodge and Council staff to see what the grant has paid for.

Councillor Lynda Bowyer joins the team at Durnsford Lodge and Council staff to see what improvements the grant has paid for.

A number of care homes in Plymouth have been awarded a total of £150,000 by Plymouth City Council to improve their facilities.

In total, 18 care homes out of 25 which applied for grants have received funding of up to £10,000 per home. While the Council funded £150,000 through grants, in total, with contributions from the care home providers themselves, £232,259 was spent.

Improvements include new bathrooms, redevelopment of gardens, lounges and conservatories.

Councillor Lynda Bowyer, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “We are delighted with the results of these grants which have made a huge difference to some of the care homes in Plymouth.

“Some of our most vulnerable residents are in care homes and making some simple improvements to their home environment can make a huge difference to their quality of life, as well as enhancing the working environment for the hard working care home staff.”

Durnsford Lodge Care Home Manager Francesca Fletcher with Councillor Lynda Bowyer.

Durnsford Lodge Care Home Manager Francesca Fletcher with Councillor Lynda Bowyer.

Francesca Fletcher, Manager of Durnsford Lodge Care Home said: “The work we have done to our garden with the grants has made a huge difference to the quality of life for our residents. It is safer and a much more pleasant environment. We’ve had a new walk way put in with new paving slabs, we’ve weeded the garden as it was overgrown before, and put in scented plants. Some of the residents also helped out with the weeding.

“Now more of the residents are able to go out and enjoy the garden and also it is a nicer view for the residents inside to look out onto the garden. We are also getting a new PowerPlate to help the residents exercise and they will be able to do this in the relaxation area whilst looking out onto the garden.”

You can watch a video to see Councillor Lynda Bowyer, Francesca Fletcher, and Durnsford Lodge’s owner Sue Aston talk about the improvements at Durnsford Lodge here.

Improvements include:

Consort House Nursing Home – carpets were replaced, new blinds and anti-glare film installed in the conservatory, and new seating was purchased for the lounge and conservatory. This means the residents will now be able to sit in the conservatory on a sunny day, whereas previously it would get too hot.

Durnsford Lodge – enhancements to the garden including a new walkway, new paving slabs, scented plants, weeding, and improved safety, also improves the view for residents inside the home.

Freshfields Nursing Home – Improvements include a new seating area, improved storage and workspace for activities, and a digital display screen for a variety of uses.

Hartley Park Care Home – The garden was enhanced including raised vegetable beds, a greenhouse, summer house and improved walkways.

Merafield View Nursing Home – A new wet room on the ground floor enabling residents to choose whether they want a bath or a shower.

Mount Eventide Home – The Mount had only one bathroom that was on the ground floor so residents were having to be brought from their rooms, through the building to the ground floor. Thanks to the grant, a wet room has been installed, which has also reduced the home’s water bill.

Norfolk Villa – Improvements to ground floor bathroom and making it accessible to wheelchair users.

The Oasis – Redevelopment of garden area to provide an accessible walkway and sensory planting, plus funding for magnetic boards for some of the residents’ rooms to help patients with dementia where photos and memory board items can be placed.

Plymbridge House – A wet room was installed with a new toilet and shower with a hoist, as well as being painted in more vibrant colours. The lounge area was also refurbished.

St James’ Lodge Nursing Home – A new wet room was installed including an Arjo high-lo height adjustable bath, as well as redecoration and new tiling.

St Vincent’s Nursing Home – Enhancements to the bathroom, a new toilet with wash / dry feature and a nursing bench with adjustable head and neck support.

Wisteria House – Improvements to the front garden including a shaded area, infa-red alarms for bedrooms (alert staff via a pager when a resident gets out of bed and staff use this to visit them and check they are ok – it also works if a resident falls out of bed in the night). This is aimed at reducing falls and tiredness amongst residents.