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Approval given for dementia centre of excellence funding 

October 2017

East Kent Hospitals, Kent County Council and partners across east Kent and Europe have secured funding for a dementia centre of excellence to enable people with the illness to lead healthier and more independent lives.

Significant European funding has been approved for the dementia centre of excellence which will be built near the former Buckland hospital site in Dover, which is next to the new hospital which opened in 2015.

The project will cost €3,740,794 (£3,410,294) of which €2,244,477 (£2,046,177) will be provided in cash by Interreg 2 Seas, with the rest being match-funded by 10 partners, including East Kent Hospitals.

Work has been completed on the pre-planning application phase of the development, which will lead to a final design being submitted to Dover District Council. Once approved it is anticipated that building work will start immediately and be concluded by spring 2019.

The Chief Executive of East Kent Hospitals, Matthew Kershaw, said: “This is an exciting development and represents a new approach in caring for those affected by dementia.

“Those with dementia often have other long-term health conditions, which can lead to them being repeatedly admitted to hospital. This may tackle specific bouts of illness, but it’s a model that doesn’t necessarily address the overall care needs – emotionally and physically – of an elderly person living with dementia.

“The dementia village concept is based upon a social approach that encourages those with dementia to lead as normal a life as possible, engaging with a familiar environment while having access to care 24 hours a day.”

When built, the Dover dementia centre of excellence will be an enclosed site containing modified housing blocks, with each accommodating five residents with dementia.

It’s anticipated that 30 people will be accommodated, with an additional six beds available for a new ‘guesthouse with care’ concept. A separate building will provide community facilities and services.

The Dover dementia centre of excellence will use ‘Telehealth’ to help with monitoring residents’ health, and technology to help make residents’ daily lives easier.

Dementia presents a challenge to society, both now and increasingly in the future. In 2015 there were 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and by 2025 it is estimated that this will have grown to nearly 1,150,000. Dementia now costs the UK economy £26.3 billion a year.  

Matthew added: “We want to see people with dementia retain their dignity, independence and health for as long as possible.  New, financially sustainable methods of providing care for people living with dementia such as the dementia centre of excellence will be vital in providing the excellent health and social care for those affected by dementia. We are looking forward to learning from this model and continuing to develop better treatment for people with dementia in the future.”

Known officially as Community Areas of Sustainable Care and Dementia Excellence in Europe (CASCADE), the dementia centre of excellence is part of a wider project that involves partners from the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

The project partners are:

  • East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Health and Europe Centre
  • Medway Community Healthcare CIC
  • Canterbury Christ Church University
  • ZorgSaam, Holland
  • Emmaus Elderly Care, Belgium
  • Flemish Expertise Centre on Dementia, Belgium
  • Residential Care Holy Heart, Belgium
  • HZ University of Applied Sciences, Holland
  • University of Lille, France
  • Observer Partners:
  • La Vie Active, France
  • Flemish Minister on Wellbeing, Public Health and Family Care, Zorgnet Icuro, Belgium
  • Flemish Agency Care and Health, Belgium
  • Tourism Flanders, Belgium.


The dementia centre of excellence will provide longer term and short-term respite care which will fully engage with the local community. The wider project will be the basis for passing shared learning and cross-border excellence in dementia care for the future.

CASCADE will combine and scale up pockets of excellence, to create new methods of service delivery for the provision of elderly/dementia care and support people to live well in therapeutic communities rather than hospitals.

The outcome will be a step-change improvement in care of the elderly and people living with dementia in the 2 Seas area, by supporting their care needs at every stage.

Notes for Editors:

Interreg 2 Seas 2014-2020 is a European Territorial Cooperation Programme covering England, France, the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders). The Programme is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and has a total of €241m ERDF to co-finance projects in the 2014 - 2020 period.

CONTACT: Henry Quinn, Strategic Development, Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Ethelbert Road, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 3 NG, henryquinn@nhs.net