Aylsham charity earns national award

A ground-breaking project linking health, social care and community facilities has earned an Aylsham charity national recognition.

Over 50s Housing UK has presented the Aylsham Care Trust (ACT) with a national award for its leading role in the development of the St Michael's care complex, on land close to the town's St Michael's Hospital.

The award praised the charity's work as the 'most innovative example of integrated health and social care facilities in the UK'. Judges said it had lifted standards in the UK and had 'set the bar at a new height'.

The complex comprises an 86-bed nursing home which recently opened, a 30-bed housing with care scheme to be built by Circle Anglia, a health centre to be operated by the NHS and local GPs, and a community centre to be owned and run by ACT.

Building work on the housing with care scheme and the community centre is due to get underway this month.

The development is taking place on land donated by ACT's founder trustee Rees Coghlan MBE. ACT has worked with many partners on the scheme, including Broadland District Council, Norfolk County Council, NHS Norfolk and Aylsham Town Council.

The complex is next to the Hopkins Homes development where, in addition to building new homes, Hopkins is restoring and converting the listed former St Michael's Hospital building into apartments.

Most Read

The 26-bed community hospital, in a separate building, is due to close once all the new health facilities are in place. NHS Norfolk is commissioning up to nine of the nursing home beds.

Jenny Manser, ACT chairman, said they were delighted to win the award. She added: 'We have learned so much from our work on this project that the Trustees of ACT are now helping other communities to achieve similar complexes elsewhere.'

NHS Norfolk chairman Sheila Childerhouse said: 'ACT Trustees are to be congratulated for this much deserved award. We are delighted to be working with ACT and other partners on this important project to deliver integrated, locally based services for people in the Aylsham area.'