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Over the original budget but work is now under way – update on new Orkney care home to be given to Integration Joint Board

New Orkney care home
Work has begun on the new care home at Soulisquoy, in the west of Kirkwall.

Orkney’s Integration Joint Board (IJB) is to be given a progress update on a £13.4m new care home being built in the county.

The project previously needed a cash boost and work commenced at the site earlier this month.

The update will be given this week as the board – the body responsible for the delivery of a range of Orkney’s health and social care services – meets in Orkney’s council chamber.

With planning permission given in March, contractor R Clouston Ltd began work earlier this month.

It is located at Soulisquoy, in the west of Kirkwall, and will replace the ageing St Rognvald House. Funded by the council, the 40-bed facility is expected to be finished in July 2024.

The project will see a single-storey structure made up of four wings. The accommodation includes en-suite bathrooms with the flexibility to add two 10 en-suite room accommodation wings in future.

In March, the previous council agreed that an extra £1.18m should be added to the project’s original cost of £12.27m. This brought the final cost up to over £13.4m.

As project estimates went beyond the council’s expected costs, councillors agreed in March that more funding should be given.

When it went out to tender for the project, the council found these tenders to be over its estimates. This is said to be down to the combined effects of the pandemic and Brexit on materials and building costs.

New Orkney care home will offer flexible models of care

The vice-chair of Orkney’s IJB, Rachael King, spoke about the project as work began, earlier this month. She said: “We are delighted to see the project getting underway, following a number of delays.

“The new facility will bring much-improved care for its residents as well as playing an important role in a flexible model of care in Orkney that meets the different needs of our elderly population.

“Our aim with the new facility is that as older people’s care needs fluctuate, those needs can be met with care provision flexing up or down within the overall system, with an emphasis on ‘Home First’ – and people’s own desire to remain cared for within their own homes when at all possible.”

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