South Tyneside’s new, £9 million centre of excellence for joined-up care for older people, which will open in 2016, will be called Haven Court.

The name for the integrated care services hub, which is currently being built by South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of South Tyneside Council in the grounds of South Tyneside District Hospital, was chosen following a competition.

The winning name was selected by a panel including Trust Chief Executive Steve Williamson and Councillor Mary Butler, the Council’s Lead Member for Adult Social Care and Support Services. It was submitted by Suzan (correct) Craven, who will be invited to attend the official opening of the facility, which is seen by the Council as a major part of its response to the Borough’s ageing population and increasing numbers of people with dementia

Mr Williamson said: “Haven Court is a very fitting name for our state-of-the-art centre, which will be a beacon of excellence for care for older people for years to come. A haven is a safe, peaceful place and the concept has strong links with South Tyneside so we felt it was totally appropriate.

“I would like to thank everyone who submitted names for consideration. We had a fantastic response, which demonstrated that people are already taking pride in what will be a wonderful addition to the Borough’s older people’s services. Several people suggested ‘haven’ in the name so, in the end, we had to put their names in a hat and draw a winner.”

Mrs Craven, of Prudhoe, who works in administration with the Trust’s Gateshead health visiting service, said: “I never win anything so this is a lovely surprise. I thought of the name because it represents somewhere peaceful and safe, which I think is important for older people and their families.”

Cllr Butler said: “We want this centre to be a safe and secure environment where older people can access all the support they need to live independently in the community for as long as possible. The name Haven Court reflects these aspirations perfectly.

“I look forward to seeing Haven Court become a popular, valued facility for the Borough’s ageing population and their families and carers.”

Haven Court will bring together key health and social care organisations, and voluntary sector agencies, to improve the range, quality and co-ordination of services, particularly for people with dementia, and provide high quality preventative support to enable them to live in their community for longer. As well as health and social care expertise ‘wrapped around’ the older person, there will be specialist day care. Long-term residential and nursing care will be available, along with beds for short breaks when carers are on holiday or before going back to live at home. There will be rooms for medical consultations and assessments of people’s needs and there will be information and advice on using technological aids to support independent living.

The decision to invest in the new centre was taken against a background of an ageing population. Currently older people make up 18 per cent of the Borough’s population but this is estimated to rise to 21 per cent by 2021. By 2030, there is expected to be a 50 per cent rise in the cases of dementia and a 138 per cent increase among those aged over 90.