Professionals and Practitioners

The future of residential care public consultation

Introduction

The consultation on the future and proposed closure of four of the County Council’s older style residential care homes took place between and 29 July to 18 October 2013.

The homes involved are:

  • Bulmer House, Petersfield

  • Cranleigh Paddock, Lyndhurst (including the older people’s day centre)

  • Deeside, Basingstoke

  • Nightingale Lodge, Romsey

The final recommendations from the Director of Adult Services have now been published and will be considered by the Safe and Healthy People Select Committee on 22 November 2013 before being presented to the Cabinet at a special meeting on Monday 9 December, at the County Council's headquarters in Winchester.

Both meetings are open to the public. The Cabinet meeting can also be viewed live on the County Council's webcast.

Summary of recommendations

Adult Services has thoroughly reviewed the consultation findings and feedback from the public meetings and has looked again at the investment required to bring the homes up to modern standards to meet the needs of both current and future residents. As a result of this, and having reviewed the provision of alternative good quality accommodation in the local areas, the final recommendations are to close Bulmer House in Petersfield, Nightingale Lodge in Romsey, and Deeside in Basingstoke.

In response to specific points made during the consultation, it is recommended that the closure of Deeside is delayed until the new extension to Oakridge House is open and ready to receive residents in Autumn 2014.

The recommendation in relation to Cranleigh Paddock is that it remains open and that the County Council works with New Forest District Council to explore the possibility of further developing specialist dementia provision on the site.

In making these recommendations the care, support and welfare of residents has been, and continues to be, of utmost importance.

Full details of the recommendations and reasons behind them are available in the Decision Report

 

Background to the consultation

In order to meet the challenges of an ageing population it is vital that services for older people are sustainable, cost effective and offer people choice and control. Recent research shows that the majority of older people would rather stay in a home of their own than move into traditional residential care if at all possible. This means focusing the limited resources available on care services that are more in line with people’s expectations and wishes. This includes services delivered in people’s own homes such as:

As people strive to live independently, so the decision to move into residential care is often taken at a later stage in life when their care needs are higher. Countywide, demand is reducing for traditional residential care as people choose to remain living independently in a home of their own for as long as possible. Even if a significant amount were invested in the buildings, many of which were built in the 60s, 70s and early 80s, increasing the room sizes and creating en-suite facilities, it would mean a considerable reduction in the overall number of bedrooms in each home. This reduction would have a significant impact on the cost of running the homes, making them much more expensive to run. It is also likely that all or most of the residents would have to move out to enable the homes to be remodeled.

With significant reductions in Government funding for local authorities, we have to think very carefully about how we invest the limited money we have available. This involves making difficult decisions about the services we provide and invest in.

We are continuing to invest in our newer homes, building high quality additional rooms which will meet the needs of those with higher care needs. We are also investing in Extra Care assisted living and services that help people to stay at home longer, such as telecare, re-ablement from hospital (supporting people to get back on their feet when they are discharged from hospital), and carers’ support services.

Additionally, over the last few years, we have invested heavily in facilities for those with higher levels of care need, building three new nursing homes and refurbishing seven of our existing care homes to provide nursing beds. This investment comes at a time when an increasing number of people are finding they need to make the move from living independently at home with support, straight into nursing care

 

Supporting documents