Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Consultation on the future of four care homes approved

Monday, 29 July 2013

Councillor Anna McNair Scott has given approval for consultation to begin on the possible closure of four older people's residential homes in Hampshire and changes to day services connected to three of the homes.

The 12 week consultation with residents, their families, staff and local communities begins on 29 July 2013. 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.

Councillor Anna McNair Scott, Executive Member for Adult Social Care, said:

"This was not an easy decision to make. I have considered carefully the case put forward and have decided that we do need to consult on the possible closure of these four homes in order to take account of the changing needs and aspirations of older people.

"This will be difficult time for the residents, their families and staff at Bulmer House, Cranleigh Paddock, Deeside and Nightingale Lodge and for those people who use the connected day services.

"The comfort, security and wellbeing of those in our care is our main priority and we will be supporting residents and their families throughout this process. As part of this we will talk through the range of alternative care and accommodation available. This will be done to enable them to have plenty of time to make their choice should a decision be taken following the consultation to close any of the homes.

"Staff will be fully involved throughout the process, ensuring they and the people they look after are well informed and supported to make choices that are right for them. I recognise the importance of their role in ensuring the continuity of good quality care for the residents."

In order to meet the challenges of an ageing population, at a time when the public sector is under severe financial constraints, it is vital that older people's services are sustainable, cost effective and offer people choice and control.

To meet the changing needs and aspirations of older people, the County Council is developing new ways of providing care and support which will help people to remain as independent as possible, for as long as possible, such as Extra Care Assisted Living. The County Council is also investing in community based services that promote choice and offer better value for money such as supporting people when they are discharged from hospital through re-ablement and the expertise of community response teams, support for carers and telecare assistive technology.

People deciding to go into residential care generally do so at a much later stage in life when their care needs are higher than a traditional residential home is designed to support. They also have higher expectations around the service they receive and the physical environment.

The Council regularly reviews its care homes to ensure they provide the standards of accommodation needed and expected by both current and future residents. Some of the Council's traditional residential homes that were built in the 1960s,70s and early 80s are unable to meet these aspirations and provide difficulties for residents and staff, with narrow corridors, insufficient space for care equipment and shared toilet facilities. The four homes that the Council will be consulting on the possible closure of have been identified as having significant issues which prevent them being suitable for meeting the needs of older people in the future.

Three of the residential homes have day care on site and, if following consultation, a decision is taken to close the homes, the proposals are to:

  • temporarily relocate Bulmer House Day Centre until it could move into the new Extra Care developments
  • retain Masters House Day Centre (Nightingale Lodge), unless it becomes necessary to temporarily re-locate it during building works.
  • close Cranleigh Paddock Day Centre. It has been identified that there is sufficient supply of day services to meet the demand in the Lyndhurst area.

A copy of the questionnaire can be obtained by calling 0845 603 5630 or visiting the Residential Care consultation page. All views from the consultation will be given serious consideration before a report is prepared for Cllr McNair Scott's Decision Day in November.

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