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The future of direct care homes for older people

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

We're launching a consultation after hearing significant maintenance, renovation and 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.

If the work went ahead residents could face significant disruption as they would have to move out for up to 40 weeks and staff would need to be redeployed.

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

Members of our Cabinet also heard that there had been an even greater fall in the numbers of people choosing residential care during COVID-19 with more people preferring to remain independent at home with support from ourselves.

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
    • 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

Have your say

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

Members of the public can get more information and complete an online questionnaire or request a paper copy of the questionnaire, email or by contacting the stakeholder engagement and consultation team, tel: 01629 531307.

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.

There are currently 68 long term residents in the 7 care homes, supported by 240 staff.

Read the full report on the Derbyshire Democracy website.