Swanton Morley-based care group aims to innovate as it invests in Norwich and Halesworth projects

EDP Business on Lincoln House Care House in Swanton Morley - MD Sanjay Kaushal. Picture: Matthew Ush

EDP Business on Lincoln House Care House in Swanton Morley - MD Sanjay Kaushal. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A care group is looking to innovate the sector as it invests in a £15m project, which it hopes will be a model for the industry.

Castlemeadow Care Group, which runs homes in Swanton Morley, Swaffham and Long Stratton, is leading a project to create a care community at Halesworth, Suffolk, as well as opening a new Norwich facility, bringing 50 jobs to the city.

The Halesworth Healthcare Village will combine a care home, retirement village, outpatient clinics and physiotherapy unit at Dairy Hill.

Dr Sanjay Kaushal, director of Castlemeadow Care, said the project was being watched by others in the industry and he hoped the partnership with the NHS could lead to a new model for the care industry to follow.

He said: 'We are going to be building a new facility working alongside the NHS, sharing some of our ideas.

'Essentially you have got the existing Patrick Stead Community Hospital and we are going to be providing some of those services along with additional beds as well.

'It is about integrated health and social care and we think what is going to happened there could be adopted by the NHS going forward.'

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The project is scheduled to open in 2018 and it is hoped building work can begin in March next year if planning permission is granted.

Dr Kaushal said the scheme, which will include 42 retirement homes, would help give the community ownership of the facilities which would benefit all parties in the long run.

The group, which has its headquarters at Lincoln House, Swaonton Morley, has increased its turnover to £7,146,000 in 2015, up 21%, and Dr Kaushal said he was hoping the company would turnover £10m within the next five years as it looked to push forward with new projects, despite industry challenges.

He said: 'We feel very positively. We have grown steadily since we started in 1999.

'We have a few other projects we are looking at and in the next three to five years we are hoping to double our turnover.'

Dr Kaushal's only concerns surrounding Brexit are that dropping interest rates and a downturn in the economy could reduce the amount banks are willing to lend for future projects.

However he added that the care industry was facing difficult times.

He said: 'I think it is a difficult time for care, very challenging.

'The uncertainty in terms of funding makes it very difficult to know which way things will go.

'People's expectations are changing, in the past people may have accepted what care they were given but now people want more, which is good.

'People have worked hard all their lives and they deserve the best. It is about giving them choice.'

Castlemeadow Care employs around 250 people at present but with the opening of St John's House in Norwich this will increase to 300, with a similar number of beds available across the group's homes.

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