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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 June 2007, 10:24 GMT 11:24 UK
Military home to double its beds
Artist's impression of Erskine Edinburgh extension
Erskine hopes the new extension will open next year
A charity that provides specialist care for military veterans is to double the size of its Edinburgh care home and create 80 jobs.

Erskine said the extension is needed to help cope with the number of personnel being injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 8.7m plan will make a further 48 beds available, bringing the total number to 88 when the extension opens its doors late in 2008.

There are currently 190 ex-servicemen and women on the waiting list for care.

The state of the art facility, to be built on Gilmerton Road, will allow residents to become more independent, with large single rooms, disabled access and en-suite facilities.

It's the little things which make the difference to how you feel about how you are being cared for
Stephen Keeling
Erskine resident

Residents will have medical care, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, hairdressing, dentistry and access to a sensory garden.

Erskine, which was founded in 1916, at the height of World War I, provides nursing and medical care for former members of the armed forces who have served in every conflict since.

The charity cared for a total of 1,200 people aged between 22 and 100 in the last year and has homes across Scotland.

It relies on donations and launched an appeal two years ago in a bid to raise 6m to allow it to increase the overall number of beds and expand its dementia care provision throughout Scotland.

Colonel Martin Gibson, chief executive of Erskine, said four soldiers were being injured for every one killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, with many of them requiring long-term care.

'Full of admiration'

He added: "Sadly, war is not a thing of the past and we constantly need voluntary donations to ensure that we can continue to provide a lifestyle of dignity, privacy and respect within a homely environment for brave men and women who have helped to preserve our way of life."

Erskine resident Stephen Keeling, 86, who served in the Royal Navy, said: "It's the little things which make the difference to how you feel about how you are being cared for and I feel Erskine really understand and respect individual needs.

"The facilities and staff ensure I can live independently but also get the support that I sometimes need. I am pleased to hear that more veterans like myself will benefit from Erskine care."

Sir Alistair Irwin, president of Veterans Scotland, said "On a recent visit to Erskine, I was full of admiration for the care that Erskine provides veterans of all ages.

"I am delighted to hear that permission has been granted for the extension of the Erskine Edinburgh Home, which will enable even more veterans in the east of the country to benefit from the wonderful care for which Erskine is renowned."

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