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Future care for older people in York

Elderly hands

12:01am 21st October 2011

Members of the council’s Cabinet will be asked to approve plans to work towards a new vision for care for older people in York at a meeting next month (1st November 2011).

A total of 1163 residents and local organisations, including care home residents and their relatives, responded to a consultation asking them for their views on the outcome of a council review, which considered the age and condition, location and suitability for future care needs of its nine existing residential elderly persons’ care homes.

Nine out of ten respondents agreed with the council’s vision of care in the future, which would ensure that people don’t have to move between different types of homes as their needs change.

More than eight out of ten respondents also agreed that the council should completely modernise the structure and format of its homes to better meet the needs and aspirations of local people over the next 40 years.

A clear majority also believed that residential care should focus on the specialist needs of people with dementia, high dependency and nursing care requirements.

Seven out of ten respondents felt that resources should be redirected from general residential care into helping people stay at home for longer with appropriate support and that day care should be provided within the community rather than in care homes.

The majority of respondents also supported proposals for the council to fund, build and operate three new Elderly Person’s Homes at sites across the city. There was also support for a partnership approach, with the council teaming up with a developer/operator to fund, build and operate three new homes.

Following the results of the consultation, the Cabinet will be asked to agree to plans to work towards achieving the future care vision. Initially, this would see the creation of two new 55-bed homes at Fordlands in Fulford and Haxby Hall.

To embark on this programme of modernisation there is a proposal for an early closure of two existing homes- Fordlands and Oliver House. If agreed, consultation will commence with relatives, residents, staff and other stakeholders over the future of these homes before any decision is made. Fordlands has been chosen in preference to Haxby Hall at this stage because the home has fewer residents and they have lower care needs.

The home would need to be demolished to commence with the new build. Oliver House, which has a capacity for 30 residents now only has 12 residents, which reflects a falling popularity with this three storey care home. Should a decision be reached to close these two homes there are sufficient vacancies in the council’s other homes to ensure that residents could transfer with their friends and with many of their current carers.

Councillor Tracey Simpson Laing, Cabinet member for Health, Housing & Adult Social Services, said:

“The fantastic response to the consultation shows that local people recognise the importance of providing high quality care for older people in the future. To be able to do that, we need to change the way we currently provide care and support.

“The council has a duty of care to all our current residents and their well-being is a prime consideration. We have enough vacancies in our other seven Elderly Person’s Homes to accommodate all the residents from Fordlands and Oliver House if, following the consultation, a decision is taken in January to close these two homes.

“We want to ensure that this group of citizens receive the best possible care in the best possible facilities.

“Our staff have expressed their support for the proposed facilities in the consultation and we have sufficient vacancies held in our homes to be able to avoid any compulsory redundancies as a result of any closures.”

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