Outside Spaces Seminars

15:00 - 15:30

Backworth: A Holistic Approach to Living Well: A Model for Future Communities?

Active and integrated communities, designed with wellbeing at their heart are known to be more supportive, and have the potential to reduce hospital admissions.

The Ageing Well Village in Backworth is an ambitious scheme for later living. A collaboration between Northumberland Estates, Local Authority, specialist healthcare providers, and third sector organisations, the scheme creates an environment where people can live well into older age.

Initiated through the North Tyneside Ageing Well Board, the scheme was shaped by specialist stakeholders to offer a comprehensive range of residential options, integrated health and care services in one place. The team considered what influences health and happiness in older age, seeking to address not just health and care needs but also non-medical factors such as loneliness. The accommodation responds to different lifestyle demands. Accessible apartments, bungalows and ‘right sizer’ houses sit alongside an apartment building and Extra Care facility; all designed to encourage interaction and incidental meetings, fostering a strong community.

Enhancing step-up and step-down care models, the site includes a 40-bed intermediate care facility with rehabilitation and general medicine facilities, staffed by health and social care professionals. At the heart of the site a Wellbeing Hub provides a vibrant community facility with therapy rooms, hydrotherapy pool, and multi-functional spaces for classes, talks and hobby groups. The site also includes a nursery, which uses communal facilities and outdoor spaces, creating intergenerational contact.

The presentation will outline the aims and ambitions of this new senior living concept, looking at design principles and the challenges faced: from building the right project team, with involvement from multiple organisations, to making the financial case, and securing planning permission. Backworth demonstrates how the collaborative ambition and effort of health & social care, can produce a model for success to tackle some of the greatest challenges faced by health and social care today.