A delegation of civil servants from Varde in south west Denmark were guests at Colinshiel Court in Armadale in August.
The group – made up of 12 politicians and senior civil servants from the municipality – were touring Scotland visiting various facilities to research future ways of working with older and disabled people. Denmark features similar demographic challenges to Scotland, with an ageing population and a wider range of services requiring to be delivered against a backdrop of funding cuts.
Colinshiel Court is run in partnership between Hanover and West Lothian Council, where the housing association manage the building and Council staff provide care services.
Staff from both organisations were on hand to answer questions and discuss the successful housing-with-care model that Colinshiel Court offers, and delivered information on partnership working between the council and housing association. An enlightening questions and answers session also covered telecare and smart technology, funding levels and how people with dementia are housed in Scotland.
The delegation was very impressed with the service. Anette Baekgaard Jacobsen, Director of Social Healthcare and Employment in Varde, told us:
When we came in the front door, there was lots of life – everyone was chatting and there was a really good atmosphere. It was clear there was a good connection between those living there and the staff who work there.”
Tina Agergaard Hansen is a politician and qualified nurse. She said:
Dementia is on the increase in Denmark. We chose to visit Scotland because it’s well known for being forward thinking and well developed in terms of safety for service users.”
Chris Milburn, Hanover’s Director of Customer Services, said:
We were delighted to welcome everyone to Colinshiel Court. It was a great opportunity to meet with other experts from a country that offers similar opportunities and challenges to Scotland and it was interesting to compare the many common issues that affect the delivery of housing and care services across Europe”.
The group also visited Alzheimer Scotland, a care home and a private school for disabled children.
Find out more about Colinshiel Court here.
Pictured is the delegation along with staff from West Lothian Council and Hanover.