ONE of the UK’s largest independent providers of inpatient mental health care has unveiled proposals to extend its care in the community services.

Cygnet Health Care has bought a property next to its 12-bed St William’s neuropsychiatric centre in Cornwall Avenue, off Haughton Road, Darlington, which offers treatment to those affected by brain injuries and those diagnosed with a progressive neurological disease, like Huntington’s Disease.

The move represents a significant investment by the firm, which has lodged a certificate of lawfulness application with Darlington Borough Council to create a home to further the recovery of brain injured patients from St Williams, where they are offered an environment with “the opportunity to minimise their challenging behaviour and maximise their independence”.

The four-bedroom detached bungalow with large garden, which had been marketed for £230,000, would provide three adult residents with care and assistance within their day-to-day lives.

Under the scheme Cygnet said the residents would create one single household with shared facilities such as living space, kitchen and dining areas.

However, a spokesman for the healthcare firm said there did not appear to be a planning decision on the council’s website for when the property was originally granted planning consent, which would enable up to six people to live there while being cared for.

He said as the site had operated as a home for more than 50 years, the proposed use of the property should be considered lawful in any instance.

Plans submitted to the council state residents at the property on the residential street to the south of Cleveland Trading Estate.would have access to care 24 hours a day, with carers operating 12 hours on two shift patterns.

A Cygnet spokesman said carers, family members, friends or partners can provide extremely valuable practical and emotional support and that it valued and the significant role that they play in the recovery and well-being of people using its services.

He added: “The type of care to be provided to residents will mainly consist of help with everyday tasks, such as washing up, cooking and cleaning, which they would struggle to complete by themselves.

“The application site is in a highly sustainable location within close proximity to a range of services and facilities.

“Cygnet Health Care’s aim is to provide the highest quality of care to their patients and residents at all times, regardless of where they are in their care pathway. They are committed to providing the highest quality and most effective care possible.”

The main aim in providing community care services is to enable people to live in their own homes and to retain as much independence as possible, avoiding social isolation. Local authority social services provide community care services or arrange for them to be provided.