Future of three care homes to be decided
Friday, 14 September 2012
The future of three residential care homes in Winchester, Gosport and Fleet will be decided at a meeting on 21 September following 12 weeks of consultation which actively encouraged the involvement of residents, their relatives, staff and the public.
Providing more choice and independence
At her Decision Day, Councillor Felicity Hindson, Executive Member for Adult Social Care, will be asked to consider the closure of Addenbrooke in Gosport, Thurlston House in Fleet and Cornerways in Winchester as part of Hampshire County Council's plans to modernise and ensure quality services for older people. This includes providing more choice, promoting independence for as long as possible and a strong focus on expanding the number of Extra Care places across Hampshire.
Before Cllr Hindson makes her decision she will be presented with the results of the 12 week public consultation which generated 95 written responses, 4% from residents, 41% from relatives, 29% from the local community and 19% from voluntary / community groups. The greatest number of responses related to Cornerways (45%) with 21% for Thurlston House and 13% for Addenbrooke.
Councillor Felicity Hindson commented on the important decision she has to make:
"To meet the challenges of an ageing population it is vital that older people's services are sustainable, cost effective and in quality surroundings that offer people choice and control over their own lives.
"The three care homes under review have significant problems as the buildings are not suitable to meet the needs of older people in the future. Older people are coming into care at a later age, when they are more frail and often have dementia. The £4.5 million investment needed to carry out maintenance on the three homes would not include upgrading them to modern standards. Solving the problems of small rooms and corridors, which make them unsuitable for caring for people with higher levels of need, would require a major investment but would significantly reduce the number of rooms and leave them economically unviable.
'Suitable alternative accommodation'
"I will be examining the consultation results very carefully before coming to a decision on whether to close any of the three homes. I fully understand how unsettling and worrying this has been for the residents, their families and staff. Before any decision is made I will need to be assured that suitable accommodation is available in close proximity to the homes which would enable friendship groups to remain together, that there will be sufficient places to meet the future needs and aspirations of older people and that there is clear evidence to prove modernisation would not be cost effective. I would also like to be reassured that should the homes close staff will be offered redeployment or voluntary redundancy, depending on their choice."
Investment in Extra Care
Over the next eight years the County Council will be investing £45 million in Extra Care schemes across Hampshire, and is also investing in its modern care homes, with plans to extend Westholme care home in Winchester, to provide six new rooms, and Oakridge care home in Basingstoke, to provide nine new rooms. Both these homes are able to offer nursing care.
As part of the Council's long term investment in Extra Care, four new developments have already opened in Andover, Basingstoke, Fleet and Gosport, although they may not be suitable for current residents of the three homes suggested for closure, they will provide capacity for the next generation of older people. In total they provide 240 one and two-bed ultra modern homes, with flexible 24 hour care in a safe, warm and friendly environment.