Broadacres’ extra care scheme in Leyburn recently hosted a visit of a cross-party group of North Yorkshire Councillors.

Kirkwood Hall was visited in November by members of a North Yorkshire Council Committee that is tasked with scrutinising care & independence and housing.

The guided tour gave councillors the opportunity to gather information on the ground as part of the committee’s remit to review care services across the county of North Yorkshire.

As well as councillors from the Conservatives, Labour, the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats, Dementia Forward CEO Jill Quinn MBE and Leyburn Town councillors joined the visit at Kirkwood Hall, which enables residents to live independently while receiving some support and care when needed.

The Chair of the Council’s Care & Independence and Housing Overview & Scrutiny Committee, Leyburn Councillor Karin Sedgwick, said: “Care, independence and housing are the key components of the work of our Committee.  Therefore, extra care facilities that allow for independent living, such as Kirkwood Hall, are of major interest to our group members.  I am glad that councillors representing various communities around North Yorkshire were able to attend, ask question and share comments and feedback.”

Scarborough Councillor Eric Broadbent, who is also the Vice-Chair of the Committee, explained: “In addition to the bungalows and apartments available for residents at Kirkwood Hall, the scheme offers what is known as Step Up/Step Down rooms, which extend support to patients after leaving hospital, resulting in earlier discharges.  This is a valuable and essential service, especially in this day and age when there is a high demand for hospital beds.”

Aire Valley Councillor Andy Brown added: “There are a number of facilities that residents can enjoy at Kirkwood Hall.  These comprise communal spaces, a hobby room, a secure garden, which includes a greenhouse, and a restaurant, among others.  I was particularly pleased to see that there is a strong focus on recycling, with composters to reduce food waste from the kitchen.”

Harrogate Councillor Peter Lacey mentioned: “It was a great opportunity to see just one of the many similar units that NYC have developed over the years in response to our ageing demographic.  I’m sure the excellent care provided here is repeated many times over across the county.  I particularly welcomed the way that residents were seen as part of the Leyburn community with two-way links well established for the benefit of both.”

Helmsley Councillor George Jabbour commented: “I have been to a number of extra care facilities across the county, like Bransdale View in Helmsley.  The remarks that I keep hearing from residents about these pioneering initiatives are very positive.  It is fantastic that North Yorkshire is at the forefront of developing care solutions.”

Broadacres Housing Association’s Customer Experience Director, Andy Powell, said: “This is a demonstration of the powerful partnership with North Yorkshire Council and it was pleasing to see councillors taking the time to find out more about extra care given that it presents an effective solution to provide older people with further options for care while retaining their independence.”