Bield Lends Helping Hand to beneficiary of 17th Century Hospital Trust

by Melissa Clark

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

cowanes chairs and provost (1)An innovative new partnership has been announced that will allow Cowane’s Housing Association to continue its fantastic work in the Stirling area long into the future.

The Housing Association, now known as Cowane’s Housing Association Residential Care, has signed an agreement with Scotland’s leading care and service provider, Bield, to deliver its housing and property service at all their sites.

The Patrons of Cowane’s Hospital Trust, who established their Housing Association in 1998 offering housing in the Stirling District, believe the arrangement will allow them to focus on the other wider priorities of the Association.

Bield were hand-picked to ensure the services are run in the most cost efficient manner possible by a professional and dependable organisation with expert knowledge in the care sector.

They will also ensure that all regulatory requirements are met while providing the quality service residents are used to and the option of improvements, such as more regular site visits.

The reduction in the availability of government grants and third sector support for care services has been heavily reported on in recent years and has led to charitable organisations like Bield and Cowane’s  working on smarter, more collaborative approaches to deliver the services their residents need.

The new partnership contract will cover 25 properties and provide a 24 hour single point of contact for Cowane tenants on all daily housing management issues, such as maintenance and repairs, while also supporting longer term planning to identify the investment needed to maintain each property over the next 15-30 years.

Harry Deerin, Chair of Cowane’s Residential Care, said: “Bield are experts in property services for elderly and vulnerable people and have an extremely strong pedigree.

“We’re delighted to be working with them and look forward to this being a very rewarding partnership for both organisations.

“It’s an extremely important step forward for us as it will allow us to focus on the future needs of our users and the wider scope of the Cowane’s Housing Association.”

Another key benefit of the partnership will be to utilise Bield’s expert sector knowledge to identify any future legislative changes that could impact on Cowane’s properties or services, before providing support to address any necessary changes.

David MacInnes, Owner Services Manager at Bield, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to announce this fantastic new partnership. There will be no disruption to the services for Cowane’s residents, who will benefit from our experience in management of homes for older people.

“This kind of mutually beneficial partnership is incredibly important in the current climate within the sector and we’re looking forward to seeing the benefits for both organisations in the very near future.”

MANAGING PROPERTY

The partnership officially got underway on 1st April this year and Bield are now managing the services in all properties in the area.

Bield is one of Scotland’s leaders in the care and housing for older people offering a wide range of services that are based on a housing model, but include Care, Respite Care, meals provision, day-care centres, a volunteering network and Care at Home to name but a few.

In recent years the organisation has also focussed on providing owner and management services to other organisations and to existing private retirement developments.

This flexible approach allows Bield to offer a wide range of services from basic factoring to more extensive facilities such as the full property management required by the Cowane’s Housing Association.

David added: “Meeting care users needs has become more difficult for organisations across the country as funding has dried up, but we believe the sector can thrive by working together effectively.

“We have similar agreements with organisations in other areas of Scotland, such as the Order of St John’s in Polmont, which has been a hugely successful partnership, and we believe this kind of collaborative resourcing is a key aspect in the future of our sector.”

Bield – a registered charity – has grown from humble beginnings, starting out with one housing development in Bo’ness to become a major provider of a wide range of housing and services for around 20,000 older people across 22 local authority areas.

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