Our Cabinet today (18 November 2021) agreed to launch a consultation after hearing major refurbishment is needed in 7 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 would mean significant disruption for residents who would have to move out for up to 40 weeks while staff would 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, for en-suite facilities or the capability to be adapted to provide high quality care for older people with increasingly complex needs.
Cabinet was also 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 us.
Councillors 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
- 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, our 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 re-deploy 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’d heard from everyone and taken their views in to account.
“We will be keeping an open mind and if any other options are put forward during the consultation, including viable alternatives to put modern facilities on these sites, we will of course consider these.”
The consultation will launch on Monday 22 November and run for 12 weeks, finishing on Monday 14 February 2022.
As care home residents are most vulnerable to COVID-19, public meetings will not be held in care homes.
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 email firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting the Stakeholder Engagement and Consultation Team on 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 with 4,500 in 2018.
There are 68 long-term residents in the 7 homes supported by 240 staff.