A BASINGSTOKE care home has extended its service by opening a new wing.

The Honeysuckle Wing, at St Thomas’ Care Home, is dedicated purely to caring for people with the early stages of dementia.

The new wing offers attractive en-suite bedrooms, bright living areas and the full support of an experienced care team.

St Thomas’ Care Home is part of Barchester Healthcare, which is the fourth biggest independent healthcare provider in the UK.

Doing the opening honours of cutting a ribbon and helping to plant two honeysuckle plants was Basingstoke and Deane Deputy Mayor Councillor Roger Gardiner.

Impressed with what he saw, Cllr Gardiner said: “Barchester Healthcare have done a wonderful job here.

“The level of detail that they go into to look after the residents is wonderful. It’s modern, it’s bright, cheerful and comfortable.”

The dementia nursing home is one of four care homes in the Basingstoke area run by Barchester Healthcare general manager Venita Couzens.

She said the new wing used to be an area used for high-dependency residents in late stage dementia, replicating services that are being offered at two of the other care homes.

She explained: “We were not full, so we looked at the business here and decided to make some changes, whilst looking at what is needed in the community.

“That’s why we decided that we needed to diversify and look after people who have the early stages of dementia.”

Professor Trish Morris-Thompson, who is director of quality and clinical governance, was at the opening, where she paid tribute to the 100 staff who look after more than 50 patients at St Thomas’.

“I’m here to bring good wishes and good luck to the wonderful team who run this fantastic unit,” she said.

“St Thomas’ has built up a reputation locally as being experts in dementia care and The Honeysuckle Wing is a testimony to how their thinking has progressed in that we are now facing a younger population with dementia and also we have requirements to support people with early dementia and this unit is dedicated to them.”

Barchester Healthcare has 220 care homes in the UK and Ireland, looking after 11,000 residents with 17,500 staff.