“The excellent collaboration and working relationships between Jenner and the clinical staff have proved critical to the project’s success. The quality of the build and input and responsiveness from Jenner has been excellent.” Henry Quinn, East Kent NHS Trust

Harmonia Village, Dover

Location: Dover

Client: East Kent Hospitals

Value: £2.5m

The Harmonia Village is a unique development that has regenerated redundant hospital properties, on the site to the rear of the Buckland Hospital, to create a bespoke new nursing village for people living with dementia (PLWD). This is the first village of its kind in the UK, utilising a proven Dutch model, to be created for the sole purpose of supporting and caring for those living with this debilitating disease.

The project was delivered by Jenner on behalf of our client East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, as part of the wider ‘Community Areas of Sustainable Care and Dementia Excellence in Europe’ (CASCADE) project that aims to keep people living with dementia integrated within their local communities for longer and to improve overall wellbeing and quality of life. The key aim of the project is for people to live in buildings that look like, and actually are, homes rather than in rooms within a larger facility engaging with a familiar environment while having access to care 24 hours a day.

Twelve semi-detached properties have been completely stripped-back, re-configured and refurbished to form six detached buildings that will provide separate, en-suite accommodation for the residents. Each new home will house 5 residents and are purpose designed in terms of layout and colour schemes, proven to help slow the stages of dementia. Each property has a central platform lift for accessibility purposes and DDA compliance and ultimately allows people with dementia to live as independently as possible for as long as possible.

Alongside this a brand new, purpose built two-storey ‘Hub’ facility has been created, providing central communal facilities for all residents and the staff working at the village to encourage interactions between them and the local community. This provides additional accommodation for respite care for non-residents, dining facilities, recreational space and staff premises as well as a welcoming environment for families to visit and spend time with their loved ones.

Externally the project has considerable landscaped space designated for purposeful walking to reduce misunderstood behaviours and includes spaces for an allotment and flower beds. An area at the rear of the site will house goats and sheep that will be cared for by one of the residents whose profession this was formerly.

The £2.5 million project commenced in November 2018 when the Mayor of Dover officially ‘broke ground’ in a celebration of the key project milestone, following a four-year programme of funding, planning and design. The construction phase took 40 weeks with Jenner working in partnership with a team of local consultants including Canterbury-based Architectural practice HMY Architects, to successfully deliver the project completing in September 2019.