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We seek views on future of older people’s accommodation

Published: 4 February 2020

Derbyshire residents are being offered their chance to give their views on proposals to close 7 of our care homes. The homes need significant work including comprehensive re-wiring. A further 3 homes require refurbishment to ensure the safety of elderly residents.

Independent surveys were carried out on all of our older care homes which looked at the condition of the buildings. This included the structure, roofing, wiring, fire safety measures, heating systems and kitchens.

The surveys found serious defects in 10 homes, highlighting the need for extensive work to bring them up to modern care and safety standards.

Once we became aware of the extent of the repairs and safety precautions needed in these homes we carried out immediate work to upgrade fire alarms, replace fire doors, increase evacuation equipment and have extra carers on duty to act as fire wardens at night to ensure safety. However, the risks of any fire occurring cannot be totally eliminated without the wiring being replaced.

But these are only temporary measures and a refurbishment of the 10 homes would cost £34 million of council taxpayers’ money and not resolve the issue that they are no longer fit for purpose.

The independent reports which detail the full extent and nature of the work needed in the 10 homes have been made available for the public to view online as part of the consultation process, along with the Cabinet report which sets out the reasons for the proposals in full.

Executive Director for Adult Social Care and Health Helen Jones said:

“It is regrettable that the council finds itself in this position but we have a duty to provide older people with the care and support they need in safe surroundings fit for the 21st century.

“It is clear from the condition reports that we have made available on our website that the work needed on these homes is significant and we must consider whether or not these buildings have reached the end of their useful lifespan.

“Even if the repairs were carried out we consider seven of these buildings are no longer fit for purpose and do not allow older people to live with dignity, with rooms that are too small for essential equipment and shared toilets. We want to hear from those affected whether or not they agree with this.

“Our Older People’s Housing, Accommodation and Support Strategy also projects there will be less need for traditional residential care beds in the future. This, and the extent and nature of the work needed, means the council has to consider whether significant expenditure on these buildings would be a good use of local taxpayers’ money.”

The proposals are to close:

  • 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

And to refurbish and keep open:

  • Briar Close House, Briar Close, Borrowash
  • Rowthorne, Rowthorne Avenue, Swanwick
  • New Bassett House, Park Avenue, Shirebrook

The consultation will run until 24 April 2020. Read more about our strategy for care homes and have your say on our care home plans.

Printed copies of the questionnaire can be made available on request, tel: 01629 531307.

Meetings will be held in all 10 homes so that residents, their relatives, carers and staff who are directly affected can give their views.

A series of drop-in sessions has also been arranged for the public to give their views and these will be held at:

  • Clowne Library, Recreation Close on 7 February from 2pm to 5pm
  • New Mills Library, Hall Street on 14 February from 10am to 1pm
  • Sandiacre Library, Doncaster Avenue on 21 February from 10am to 1pm
  • Brimington Library, Church Street on 28 February from 2pm to 5pm
  • Bakewell Library, Granby Road on 6 March from 10am to 1pm
  • Ilkeston Library, Market Place on 13 March from 10am to 1pm
  • Alfreton Library, Severn Square on 20 March from 10am to 1pm
  • Borrowash Library, Victoria Avenue on 27 March from 10am to 1pm
  • Shirebrook Library, Patchwork Row on 3 April from 10am to 1pm

People can also email or write to the Stakeholder and Engagement Team, Adult Social Care, County Hall, Matlock, DE43AG or to have their say.

Helen Jones added:

“We understand this will be a worrying time for everyone affected but I’d like to reassure them that no decisions will be taken until we’ve heard everyone’s views and taken these into account.”

All comments must be received by 24 April 2020 when the consultation closes.