Work is under way on new apartments at at the old maternity ward at Queen Mary's Hospital in Sidcup.

Birchgrove Services plan to build 74 assisted living apartments for rent on the site to combat the growing population in Bexley.

Within a decade, it is predicted that one in five people will be over the age of 65 and living longer is the leading factor for the increase in population in the UK.

Honor Barratt, managing director of Birchgrove said: “Our ambition is to enable older people looking for alternative housing solutions to remain as independent as they can for as long as possible and to deliver services that helps them to maintain their quality of life.”

The scheme is backed by Bridges Fund Management and Birchgrove are working with construction partner Castleoak.

Craig Currie, CEO of Castleoak attended a launch event with resident Lynn Chubb who gave birth to her two children at the former maternity ward of the Sidcup site.

Mrs Chubb, who is Befriender for Age UK Bexley with 10 years experience in residential care, said: “Assisted living really works because as well as having your own apartment and private space someone is always around preventing that feeling of loneliness and isolation. Why should beautiful accommodation be just for young people? If you’ve worked hard all your life then you deserve to be in a lovely home that is suitable to your needs.”

With construction under way, the first site in Sidcup will be available in early 2019.