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Consultation launches on future accommodation for older people

People will be asked their views on the future of accommodation for older people in a number of our residential care homes.

Following a meeting of the our Improvement and Scrutiny Committee – People on Monday, (6 December 2021) it was confirmed that the formal public consultation on the future of accommodation for older people in 7 of our residential care homes could go ahead as proposed.

As part of the normal democratic process decisions are sometimes called in for further scrutiny and following the decision by the Improvement and Scrutiny Committee, the 12-week consultation will launch on Wednesday 8 December 2021 and close on Friday 4 March 2022.

Cabinet agreed in November to launch a consultation after hearing major refurbishment is needed in seven ageing care homes. The work needed includes replacing boilers, heating systems, refitting all kitchens and bathrooms, roofing works and installing sprinkler systems. There is also a pressing need for an invasive rewire in each home to be carried out by September 2022.

The extent of the work needed will mean significant disruption for residents who will have to move out for up to 40 weeks while staff will need to be redeployed.

Even if the repairs costing around £30 million were carried out, the report said the homes are no longer fit for purpose and do not have the space to use essential equipment, en-suite facilities or the capability to be adapted to provide high quality care for older people with increasingly complex needs.

Cabinet was told that COVID-19 had accelerated a reduction in demand for care home places both locally and nationally with more people preferring to remain independent at home with support from the council. They voted in favour of asking people what they thought of options for the future of:

  • Ladycross House, Travers Road, Sandiacre
  • Beechcroft, Nursery Avenue, West Hallam
  • East Clune, West Street, Clowne (including East Clune Day Centre)
  • Holmlea, Waverley Street, Tibshelf
  • The Spinney, Landsdowne Road, Woodlands, Brimington
  • Goyt Valley House, Jubilee Street, New Mills
  • Gernon Manor, Dagnell Gardens, Bakewell

The options to be consulted on are to:

  • rewire and carry out major works to refurbish the homes including installing boiler and heating systems, replacing bathrooms and kitchens, removal of any asbestos, the fitting of sprinklers and redecoration – this option would require residents to move out for up to 40 weeks
  • close the homes and support residents to move to other local, suitable alternative provision
  • close the homes and support residents to move to any available suitable alternative provision

Councillor Natalie Hoy, Cabinet Member for Adult Care, said:

“It is essential that we consult on these proposals to hear everyone’s views before a decision is made.

“The work needed to these homes is significant and couldn’t be carried out with people still living in them. All the residents would have to move out and we’d need to redeploy staff for up to 40 weeks whilst works were undertaken.

“I understand this will be unsettling but I’d like to reassure people that no decisions would be made until we’ve heard from everyone and taken their views in to account.”

The consultation will launch on Wednesday 8 December 2021 and run for 12 weeks, finishing on Friday 4 March 2022.

Direct consultation will take place with residents, relatives and staff who will be invited to virtual meetings where they can ask questions and give their views. An online questionnaire will be made available on our website. Find out more about the proposals and take part in the consultation.

Members of the public can get more information or request a paper copy of the questionnaire by contacting the Stakeholder Engagement and Consultation Team, email tell.adultcare@derbyshire.gov.uk or tel: 01629 531307.

Councillor Natalie Hoy added:

“Everyone’s views are important to us so we’re keen to hear from as many people as possible. Doing nothing isn’t an option and whatever the decision we will fully support our residents, their families and our staff throughout.”

Even before COVID-19, long-term admissions to residential care homes in Derbyshire dropped by a quarter and during the pandemic. This fell a further 20% in 2020/21.

Across Derbyshire almost 40% of care home providers are reporting occupancy rates below 80%.

In a recent survey of clients supported by our adult care service, almost 70% said they did not want to go into a care home but overwhelmingly wanted to stay in their own home for as long as possible with the right care and support in place.

Meanwhile demand for our home care services in 2020 rose by 12% with more than 5,200 people a month now receiving support to live at home, compared to 4,500 in 2018.

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