The Minister for Health, Care and Justice, Neil F. Costa, together with the Minister for Housing and Equality, Samantha Sacramento, opened an additional floor at the John Mackintosh Home this morning. This new area follows conversion works to the ground floor of the Home, which formerly contained flats.

The conversion works have provided space for 16 additional beds on the ground floor of the Home. Furthermore, the refurbishment works have opened up space for an extra two beds on the third floor of the building. This raises the total to 70 beds available at the Home, spread over four floors.

The design of the refurbished ground floor meets the same detailed specifications as the three other existing floors. The Home is fitted to be ‘dementia friendly’, by making use of colour coding on doors and corridors and using signage, which resonates best for those with sensory or memory difficulties. These simple but effective steps will allow residents to better orientate themselves and minimise anxiety. The Home is fully accessible to wheelchair users and is fitted with low profiling beds, enabling residents to maintain maximum independence in the safest environment. Specialist equipment such as hoists and standing aids have also been supplied, along with vital pieces of equipment, which provide for the residents’ needs and ensure staff are carrying out resident manual handling tasks safely.

The move will benefit elderly patients, who will be able to enjoy a modern, purpose-built home, which will better suit their needs. The Home boasts spectacular views and spacious common areas, where residents and relatives visiting their loved ones can gather. Private rooms are generous in size and fitted with en-suite bathrooms and a flat screen television for each resident. Residents are also encouraged to participate in therapeutic and recreational activities.

The move will release a number of beds at St Bernard’s Hospital, which will be available for acute admissions. The releasing of these beds will also have a positive impact on capacity for clinical procedures, resulting in more beds being available for planned admissions.

Elderly Residential Services Manager, Susan Vallejo, said: “My team has worked diligently to ensure that the standard of accommodation and care, which will be provided for our 18 new residents, will be of the highest quality.”

Minister Costa spoke following the inauguration: “Firstly, I wish to thank staff at the Elderly Residential Services for their great work and professionalism during this time, ensuring that our residents continue to receive first class care and attention. Further, I wish to thank my colleague, Samantha Sacramento, for her collaboration in allocating this floor to the Elderly Residential Services. I think that there can be no doubt of Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar’s continuous commitment to invest in our Elderly Residential Services, in order to provide our elderly loved ones, with the best living environment. I am extremely pleased to open this new floor of the John Macintosh Home.