Rochdale’s innovative new dementia centre officially opened

Date published: 07 November 2018

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A pioneering centre that will provide some of the UK's leading care and support for people living with dementia and their families has been opened.

Councillor Billy Sheerin, the deputy mayor of Rochdale, cut the ribbon to declare the Willows Dementia Hub officially open to the public on Friday 2 November.

The special opening ceremony was attended by dignitaries from across the health community, staff from The Willows, residents, local councillors, dementia charities and people living with dementia.

The centre brings together health and social care to provide pioneering integrated care and support for those living with dementia.


Willows Dementia Hub
Willows staff outside the new dementia hub


Facilities include 18 high-quality residential rooms, respite accommodation, family rooms for relatives and a range of community services.

The Willows is run by Rochdale-based company, GP Care Services Ltd, who worked with Dementia UK, Rochdale Borough Council and the NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), to provide advice and expertise around dementia-friendly design.

A number of high-quality, complementary day services will also be provided during the week, for those who are not residents at the centre.

Dementia is a growing problem in the UK and projections show that a third of people born in 2018 are likely to develop dementia in their lifetime. There are estimated to be around 2,000 people living with dementia in the borough of Rochdale alone.

Councillor Sheerin said: “It was a lovely opening ceremony and I was so impressed with this wonderful centre. A lot of time, care and effort has gone into making the building really dementia friendly and the result is a very special facility for our borough. It was a proud moment for me to officially open The Willows for the public.”

Councillor Billy Sheerin, deputy mayor of Rochdale, makes his speech
Councillor Billy Sheerin, deputy mayor of Rochdale, makes his speech

Gail Whitehead, chief executive of GP Care Services Ltd, said: “The Willows was given the ‘thumbs up’ by all those who came to our opening event, dementia charities, local residents and also people living with dementia. That’s a welcome pat on the back for our wonderful staff, who have worked so hard to bring The Willows to life.

"The Willows is a valuable resource for the people of Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale and we’re looking forward to providing support to those who need us and also to welcoming members of the local community to our café, social events and other activities.”

Willows Dementia Hub

Dr Chris Duffy, chair of NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are extremely proud of The Willows Dementia Hub and how it will bring together health and social care providing dedicated support for those living with dementia. The attention to detail provides a welcoming and dementia-friendly environment including for people with learning disabilities and incorporates a range of complementary community services.

"The centre is an example of our plans to continually provide services in the community that are tailored to people’s individual needs, providing the right care and right support at the right time."

Deputy Mayor Billy Sheerin opens The Willows Dementia Hub

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