Consultation on the future of three care homes approved
Thursday, 31 May 2012
Councillor Felicity Hindson has given approval to take forward the consultation on the future of three older people's residential homes in Hampshire.
The three homes that will now be the subject of a 12 week consultation with residents, their families, staff and local communities are: Addenbrooke in Gosport, Cornerways in Winchester and Thurlston House in Fleet.
The decision fits with Hampshire County Council's plans to transform and improve its care services to meet the needs of Hampshire's ageing population better. This includes investing £45million into Extra Care Housing. With more older people choosing to stay in homes of their own for longer and a decrease in the numbers of people choosing traditional residential care, Extra Care housing provides a modern alternative form of care; creating greater independence, wellbeing and choice for residents.
Councillor Felicity Hindson, Executive Member for Adult Social Care, said:
"Individuals' care needs and the way they want to live are changing. Many more people are choosing to stay in a home of their own with care support, only opting for traditional residential care if their needs become much more complex, and at this point they have often come to require nursing care.
"Regularly reviewing the way we provide care helps us meet this new demand and be able to offer older residents more choice. This includes investing in alternative provision such as our investment in 2006 in new nursing care facilities and our current programme to develop more Extra Care housing.
"Unfortunately this also means we need to look at the future of some of the care homes we currently run. The more traditional residential homes we operate present a number of challenges in meeting the greater care needs of the residents in our homes, which even with improvements would still not be overcome due to small rooms and narrow corridors.
"I know that this will be an extremely unsettling time for the residents, their families and staff at Addenbrooke, Cornerways and Thurlston House. We will therefore be working very closely with residents and their families to help them understand why we are consulting and the choices that are available to them. As part of this we will talk through the range of alternatives should their home close, with the reassurance that no home would close until all residents have found alternative accommodation they are happy with."
The three homes under review all have significant issues which mean they are not of the standard we wish to provide and which prevent them from being suitable for current and future residents, with their increasing physical frailty and dementia. The £4.5m investment needed to improve the accommodation would still not solve the difficulties the homes present staff and residents due to narrow corridors and small bedrooms that have insufficient space for care equipment.
The homes were all built in the seventies when home care was very limited, so people were moving into residential homes at a much younger age when their care needs were very low. People are now choosing to move into care at a much later age when their care needs are much more complex, requiring larger spaces for specialist equipment and privacy, and very often the requirement is for nursing care.
Cllr Hindson also agreed to consult on proposals to move the Lutman Day Centre at Addenbrooke, which is run by Age Concern Hampshire. The Kingsworthy Day Centre which forms part of Cornerways will continue to be run from its existing building until there is the opportunity to consider moving it into a new Extra Care unit in the long term.
The consultation began on 28 May and will run for twelve weeks, finishing on Monday 20 August. Everyone is being encouraged to take part from residents and their carers to staff and people thinking of using the Council's care facilities in the future. A copy of the questionnaire can be obtained by calling 0845 603 5630 or visiting www.hants.gov.uk/residential-care-consultation. All views from the consultation will be given serious consideration before a report is prepared for Cllr Hindson's Decision Day in September.
As part of the investment in Extra Care, Hampshire has already built four new homes in Andover, Basingstoke, Fleet and Gosport. They provide 240 one and two-bed homes which are ultra modern, with flexible 24 hour care in a safe, warm and friendly environment. Over the next eight years the Council will provide Extra Care schemes around the county along with extensions of six new beds at Westholme care home in Winchester and nine new beds at Oakridge care home in Basingstoke.