Care homes to close as council outlines future help for elderly

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COUNCILLORS are to discuss major changes to the way elderly people and those with dementia are cared for across Bradford.

Bradford Council is looking to close local authority care homes and provide more services, with NHS help, to support people to stay in their own homes.

In the future the primary provider for long-term care and support, including for those with dementia, will be the independent sector, the council has said.

An investment plan is being drawn up to provide new care facilities at four locations.

The Council’s Executive committee will discuss a plan, Great Places to Grow Old, at a meeting next Tuesday.

The report says that, in future, more older people will be likely to stay in their own homes, even when their circumstances change or they are facing a crisis in their circumstances.

They will be able to access specialist housing and support when it is not possible to stay at home.

A council spokesman said: “It will promote independence and wellbeing for older people and reduce reliance on intensive care and support.

“The plan operates on the principle that in-house services are not decommissioned until suitable alternatives from a range of options are put in place by the delivery programme, and with the engagement of current service users and family carers.”

The first phase of the changes will see investment in the creation of four new ‘extra care’ housing schemes which will provide a range of services, including support for people with dementia.

If approved, the four schemes will see investment from the council as well as the NHS.

It is hoped that most of the money for the four schemes will come in the form of Government grants, although some council cash will be needed.

The four schemes are:

• Saltaire Extra Care/Intermediate Care. A proposal to jointly develop the existing Fernville Court site and the Neville Grange sire as an extra care scheme of 65 units. The centre could including out-patient clinics.

• Airedale Extra Care/Intermediate Care. Similar to Saltaire but depends on finding an appropriate site.

• Goitside Extra Care. A 70-unit scheme on a site owned by the council.

• Thackley/Ellar Carr. A scheme of 51 units. Construction due to start in March, with lettings from October 2014. Its potential to care for people with dementia is being explored.

The second phase will involve deciding the future for the council’s remaining in-house care homes. It is expected that these would close as the independent sector grows.

Council workers at in-house homes would then be given new roles providing crisis support across a range of settings, including people’s own home.

The council spokesman said the investment proposals had been drawn up because it had been realised that council-run services were not fit for future use.

“The plan was drawn up after it was agreed in the Council’s July 2012 Executive that original plans for residential care services were not viable.

“It had been established that the authority’s in-house care home buildings were not fit for the long-term future, despite the high quality of care provided, and the council wants to plan for new types of services in partnership with other organisations that will meet the expectations of tomorrow’s older people.”

Councillor Amir Hussain, executive member for adult services, said: “Joining forces with other council services and the NHS means we have a better overview of the needs of our older population and more flexibility in terms of funding ensuring that we continue our emphasis on quality of care.

“Our shared priority is having enough support for our growing older population and the means to give them choice, independence and dignity.”