Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Cabinet makes decision on care homes

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

To meet the challenges of caring for an ageing population and increasing demand for support, Hampshire County Council is adapting care services to ensure the right balance is available - ranging from nursing and residential care, to Extra Care and care at home. This includes investing in services that offer greater independence, choice and control - 86 per cent of which is provided by the independent sector, as only a small amount of provision is delivered in-house by the County Council.

Hampshire County Council's Cabinet has decided to retain one care specialist dementia unit and close three residential care homes and one day centre as part of its proposals to ensure the right balance of care services are in place that can meet residents' expectations for more independence, choice and control, both now and in the future.

Bulmer House in Petersfield, Deeside in Basingstoke and Nightingale Lodge in Romsey are to close. The buildings do not meet the standards of accommodation needed to meet the future needs of older people, restricting the ability to deliver care with dignity to increasingly frail people and those with dementia - and it would not be economically viable to bring them up to standards. Alternative modern, quality care facilities are available locally - enabling people to live independently for longer, with choice and control.

The closure of Deeside will be delayed until the specialist wing, currently being built at Oakridge House, is open. This is expected in autumn 2014. Bulmer House and Nightingale Lodge will only close once all current residents have settled into suitable alternative accommodation that meets their care needs.

The Cabinet agreed to retain the specialist dementia care home, Cranleigh Paddock in Lyndhurst, due to the expert nature of the care provided to people with very complex needs. The Day Centre on the same site will close due to the high quality alternative provision available from the independent sector in the community.

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Roy Perry, read out a statement at the meeting Microsoft Word 15kB to respond to issues raised during the consultation.

Summarising the Cabinet decision, Councillor Perry said: "This has been a very difficult decision because we are conscious that we are talking about people's homes. We want to ensure their care needs are properly met now, as well as ensuring that care can be delivered in the best possible way in the future. This means offering quality, care services and facilities that are fit for the 21st Century.

"Our dedicated care staff will now work closely with the residents of Deeside, Bulmer House and Nightingale Lodge and their families to fully support them as they make their choices about alternative accommodation. We will ensure that they are treated with care and consideration and will work to manage and minimise any concerns and uncertainty sensitively. Residents will be given all the time they need to find the right setting, and where residents want to stay together we will work to ensure that friendship groups can be accommodated.

"This decision will also end uncertainty for some of our staff. The quality of the care and support provided by staff has been recognised by all and where they wish to remain in the County Council's employment we will strive to find suitable alternative posts for them across our services."

To meet the challenges of caring for an ageing population and increasing demand for support, the Council is adapting care services to ensure the right balance is available - ranging from nursing and residential care, to Extra Care and care at home. This includes investing in services that offer greater independence, choice and control - 86 per cent of which is provided by the independent sector, as only a small amount of provision is delivered in-house by the County Council.

Cllr Perry said: "The County Council spends more than £1million a day caring for older residents, and with the current population of over 75s set to grow by 80 per cent by 2030, this amount is projected to increase. To meet the demographic demands we are adding £10m from contingencies to our social care budget.

"In addition to maintaining funding for delivering care services for the most vulnerable, the County Council is also continuing to make capital investment to ensure that it has the right balance of quality care settings available to meet the needs and expectations of Hampshire's older residents.

"We put £60m into providing nursing homes with the NHS and we are investing up to £45m for new Extra Care assisted living. We are extending the Oakridge residential home in Basingstoke with purpose designed, specialist accommodation for people with dementia and increasing capacity at Westholme residential and nursing home in Winchester.

"We know of no other Council making such a significant investment in the care and support for older people."

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