On Friday 23 March, Derek officially opened a new £50,000 'end of life care wing' at Ferndale Court Care Home in St Michael's Road, Ditton. Joined by local Riverside Councillor Pam Wallace and shirt-signing Widnes Vikings stars Hep Cahill and Steve Pickersgill, Derek was given an hour's tour of 'The Sunflower Suite', taking a look around the new facilities and speaking to residents and staff about how the specialist nursing for palliative care will provide the residents with much needed peace and tranquility towards the end of their lives.
Owners HC-One, creating 8 jobs through the project, have developed 13 large en-suite rooms, providing for greater comfort and space for visiting friends and relatives, with a dining room, kitchenette, patio and private garden, with a room for relatives to stay overnight.
Following the opening and his tour of The Sunflower Suite, Derek said;
"I was delighted to officially open and see for myself this brand new palliative care wing at Ferndale Court which will provide quality and dignified care for patients at this critical time in their lives. The new high-quality facilities which I saw will provide a homely environment in which the new nurses and staff will be able to deliver that personalised, high-dependancy care, meeting the needs of the residents and their loved ones.
I have seen for myself how much it matters to the residents that they can bring their own furniture, photos, and other things that mean so much to them along so that they receive dignity and comfort at this stage in their lives."
Anne Williams, Executive Board Member of HC-One said;
"The key is personalising the care.....all the staff are local people which matters hugely because people often at this time in their life want to talk about things that have mattered to them. They know the area and may know their families......There is a high demand for this type of care in the local community....Ferndale Court is only one of two residential care home providers in Widnes that provide general nursing care. At present we provide 44 out of the 65 general nursing beds available in the town."