Following detailed discussions at the County Council's headquarters in Winchester, the Safe and Healthy People Select Committee, a cross party committee of county councillors, has endorsed, via a majority vote, the final recommendations on the future of four of the County Council's care homes for older people and one day centre. These will now be considered by the Council's Cabinet and a final decision made on 9 December.
Following a twelve week public consultation on the future of Bulmer House in Petersfield, Cranleigh Paddock (including the day centre) in Lyndhurst, Deeside in Basingstoke and Nightingale Lodge in Romsey, the final recommendations from the Director of Adult Services are that all should close with the exception of Cranleigh Paddock, the specialist dementia facility in Lyndhurst due to the expert nature of the care provided.
Commenting on the discussions, Chairman of the Select Committee, Cllr Patricia Stallard said: "The scrutiny meeting allowed a full and frank debate on the overall proposals put forward by the Director of Adult Services and the detailed recommendations in relation to each of the homes. I am very grateful to the members of the Committee for their contribution to the debate and to the members of the public who made deputations at the meeting - the latter's contribution to the committee's understanding of the issues and feelings of those involved with the homes was invaluable."
The recommendations to improve the quality of care provided, form part of the Council's response to the challenges of caring for an ageing population and increasing demand for support. The Council wants to make sure it has the right balance of care services in place and can meet residents' expectations for more independence, choice and control, both now and in the future.
Closure is being recommended due to the availability of alternative care facilities locally, both independently-run and those operated by the Council. Other considerations include difficulties with the existing care home buildings which restrict the ability to deliver care with dignity to the increasingly frail and those with dementia. Providing alternative modern care facilities locally will also enable people to live independently for longer, with choice and control.
The proposal to close these three homes is associated with a £45m investment plan for new Extra Care assisted living as well as enlargement of the Oakridge residential home in Basingstoke with purpose designed, specialist accommodation for people with dementia.
If members of the public would like to make a presentation (a 'deputation') at the Cabinet meeting, information on how to do this is available, or contact Democratic and Member Support on 01962 845751, email: email@example.com. Any application to make a deputation must be made no less than three clear working days in advance of the meeting.
Please note that under the County Council's Constitution, each deputation, comprising up to four people, is allowed up to 10 minutes, with a maximum amount of time for deputations of one hour in total. Depending on the number of deputations, time for individual deputations is reduced on a proportional basis. Deputations can only appear once within six months at a meeting on the same or similar matter.