HRH The Duke of Gloucester opens new Heathlands facility

The Duke of Gloucester shaking hands with Cllr Dale Birch

HRH The Duke of Gloucester formally opened the borough’s new Heathlands facility on Tuesday 17 May, which will provide services to patients with intermediate care and dementia care needs under one roof.

The Duke was received by Mr Sean Taylor DL, Deputy Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire.

He was then welcomed to the borough by:

  • Miss Alka Kharbanda, High Sheriff of the Royal County of Berkshire
  • Mayor of the Borough of Bracknell Forest, Cllr Ash Merry and her mayoress
  • Stuart McKellar, the council’s Deputy Chief Executive
  • Fiona Slevin-Brown, Managing Director, Bracknell Forest, Frimley CCG
  • Bracknell MP James Sunderland

Upon entering the facility, The Duke was greeted by Cllr Dale Birch, Deputy Leader of Bracknell Forest Council and Dan Bradbury, Chief Operating Officer of Frimley Health Foundation Trust (FHFT), who explained to him how the £11m partnership project between Bracknell Forest Council, Frimley CCG and FHFT will provide an exciting opportunity for health and care staff to work together to benefit local people - providing safe, secure and joined up care.

As part of the visit, His Royal Highness toured the site, including new bedroom areas, communal areas and specially adapted bathrooms and met clinical experts from the local health service and Windsar Care, which will be providing the specialist dementia care. The Duke also met patients and their families to hear about their experiences.

The Duke discussed how the collaboration between Bracknell Forest Council, Frimley CCG and Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust can help inform other joint working arrangements regionally and nationally.

During his visit, His Royal Highness spoke to a number of people who have made the project possible, including representatives from Bracknell Forest Council, Frimley CCG, Frimley NHS Foundation Trust, Windsar Care and Stepnell - the building contractor for the site.

Cllr Dale Birch, who is also the Executive Member for Adult Services, Health and Housing, and Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“It has been an honour for me to be part of this special day. The opening of Heathlands is the result of a truly joined up approach to health and social care for our residents.  It really is quite unique and is a reflection of the strength of the local partnership working between Bracknell Forest Council and our partners in the NHS. I am delighted that we were able to show His Royal Highness the high-quality facilities we have secured for our local people.

“The facility welcomed its first patients in April and will make sure that Bracknell Forest residents receive the specialist care and attention they need in a safe, clean, professional and local environment.”

Fiona Slevin-Brown, Managing Director, Bracknell Forest, Frimley CCG, said:

“I am absolutely delighted and immensely proud to be able to celebrate with our partners the opening of Heathlands. This project truly demonstrates the power of collaboration between health and the council in delivering high quality locally based services for our residents.”