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Three new rooms are now available at The Coach House – our newest home for adults offering brain injury care and rehabilitation. This is following the completion of a second staircase, bringing the number of rooms to 11. Further rooms are likely to be released later in the year.

“Despite the difficulties that the pandemic is causing, we are still receiving a lot of referrals for our specialist brain injury care”, says Gill Ayris, Admissions & Referrals Manager, “so we’re very pleased that our residential capacity is increasing.”

The Coach House is situated in the grounds of The Richardson Mews in Kingsthorpe, Northampton. Both are listed buildings, full of character with large social spaces as well as generous ensuite bedrooms. The Coach House was significantly refurbished and extended, enabling a bespoke residential care home to be created. This meant that the home could meet the specific needs of people with acquired brain injury, while retaining the character of a listed building.

Richardson Care design philosophy

We have a clear design philosophy at Richardson Care: We believe that every home should feel like ‘home’, and that providing the right environment helps our service users to engage in their therapy and rehabilitation, and improves their quality of life.

We spoke to architect Chris Cheater, Design Director at McLaughlin & Harvey Limited, who has been an important part of the design team at Richardson Care for over 15 years:

“Working with Richardson Care has been a sharing of ideas and experience. The Directors, Laura and Greg, have always been clear in their desire to develop an architectural expression that seeks to draw out the unique character of each care setting. This gives a distinct sense of place and identity that service users can call ‘home’.

The essence of home

“Central to my role in the process of creating wonderful and supportive spaces is weaving the essence of ‘home’ throughout a scheme. This has had to be undertaken whilst ensuring the internal environment is supportive to people with very specific, varied and complex needs. By combining my professional training and sharing knowledge, we have evolved a clear design language for Richardson Care over time. Central to this ethos is spaces which are uplifting, naturally lit and allow all occupants to move freely in and around the home.

“In The Coach House we have had the opportunity to provide these elements within a new bespoke building, unrestricted by pre-existing constraints. This building is specifically designed knowing the need for space, circulation and light is central to the successful function of the home.  Designed around a central ‘meeting place’ and connected via ‘The Street’, we have created a care setting placing service users at the heart of the home. We believe naturally lit communal spaces are foremost in the assistance of rehabilitation. Our wide movement spaces allow for contemplation, and the extensive use of glazing allows connection to the outside, which assists in a feeling of convalescing.

“The interior design is an intrinsic part of the design philosophy and has been developed with Laura to ensure it remains as non-institutional as possible whilst ensuring its functionality. All of the support functions of the home have been incorporated within the building fabric to provide robust but discrete safe and secure environment befitting the vulnerability of the occupants.

“The design of The Coach House doesn’t for me signal the conclusion of a design philosophy, but rather an expression of an ongoing evolution of care provision, of which I’m proud to be a part as it progresses into the future.”


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17th March 2020 Life in Our Homes0

We often receive lovely comments from both family members and professionals about the specialist residential care that we provide, especially after they have been to visit their loved one or client. Here is a small selection from last month:

“Thank you for managing so much. It’s hard not having him near us, but knowing he is improving is the main thing” – family member
“I cannot say how good getting him to shower has been, that in itself is a great achievement. Thank you for keeping in touch”– family member
“I had a lovely visit with [him] on Sunday.” – family member
“Thanks for the warm welcome from you and your team” – Clinical Co-ordinator
“We had a really good visit, lunch [at the home] was first class.” – Case Manager

These comments relate to service users with acquired brain injury, but we have the same focus on quality of care for everybody, whether they have learning disabilities, acquired brain injury, dual diagnosis and/or complex needs.

Person-centred care

One of the things that sets us apart from other specialist residential care providers is our ethos of putting the service user at the centre of everything we do. This combined with our emphasis on dignity, respect and community underpins all the decisions that we make.

Having six care homes means that we can provide specialist care and support for adults with acquired brain injury and separately for those with learning disabilities. This also gives us the flexibility to offer short-term rehabilitation as well as long term rehabilitation and a home for life. We always take into account the needs and personalities of the current residents when considering new admissions.

Quality of the home environment

The quality of physical environment is also crucial to service users’ well-being. Experience has shown us that the right environment helps people with acquired brain injuries to better engage with their rehabilitation. It can also reduce anxiety and stress.

Of course, our homes are clean and safe, and we also try to make them as homely as possible, without being cluttered. This includes encouraging service users to bring their own belongings and we can decorate their room to their taste. It also means being innovative in our choice of furniture and furnishings, so that they are practical but look like something that you would have at home or find in a hotel instead of in a residential care setting. A good example of this is the new purpose-built wet-rooms that we have in The Coach House. They are accessible, single-level, fully-tiled rooms and the showers have a grab rail incorporated into their design. The style is ‘sleek and modern’ rather than ‘institutional’.

In addition, our specialist care homes are designed with plenty of communal space: separate dining rooms, a couple of lounge areas, tables and chairs in the garden. This means that service users can feel at home with the benefits of social contact and community, along with the space and opportunity to have some quiet time without being confined to their room.

By providing the right physical environment, along with experienced, caring staff, we can support all of our service users to live happy and fulfilling lives.

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