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Major investment proposed to secure long-term future of care homes

Swansea Council is proposing a major investment in its social care homes to secure them for the long term.

Guildhall

It will also move to strengthen the services it provides to the most vulnerable older people in the city to meet the need for more complex care, and increase respite care which many families currently struggle to access.

There are also proposals to change the way residential and day care services are provided to focus resources on those most in need and to provide care that others are unable to.

The council's cabinet is considering whether to start consultation seeking the views of service users, staff and the public at its next meeting on April 19.

Cllr Mark Child, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: "We are committed to continuing to provide the very best care possible for vulnerable adults.

"Even though we have much less money than we used to, we are spending more on adult social care than ever before because people are living longer and more people need specialist support for dementia and other complex needs.

"We're proposing to focus our residential care on those with complex needs, as well as significantly increase respite support to families who care for relatives, and increase reablement support to help people remain or return to their own home.

"Overall, our aim is to improve our services and to support more people in different ways.

"It's also proposed that we change our day services to focus on those with complex needs although we would still continue to support people without complex needs."

The council also wants to reduce over-capacity and reduce the number of unused beds to ensure resources are targeted where they are needed.

There are six care homes in Swansea, but there will be 42 more beds than needed in council-run residential care homes. There are currently 125 spare places in Swansea's day centres. 

The proposals that could go out to consultation would see the council focus its resources on the five residential care homes that are the best fit to deliver future care needs.

If agreed, the other change would eventually reduce the number of locations where council-run day services are offered, with day services focused on those with complex needs.

To avoid any unnecessary worry the council has looked at the residential care homes that offer the best fit, assessing the condition of the building; occupation levels, nearby alternatives; investment needed and long-term viability.

Having done so, the recommendation would be that Parkway should close and that the future of the other five homes be secured long-term to deliver future care services.

The same has been done for day centres looking at things such as the condition of the building; how far people travel to get there and how many people attend.

Following these considerations the recommendation would be, should cabinet go out to consultation, that day services would transfer from the Hollies and Rose Cross. Both homes would remain open and receive investment to ensure they can continue to provide future residential care.

Cllr Child added: "Should the cabinet decide to proceed with the consultation then it will run for 12 weeks. All views will be taken into account before the final decision is made, which is likely to be in the summer. Whatever happens, we want to reassure people there will be no change to the way services are managed until at least next year.

"We understand that services users and their families, as well as staff, may feel concerned about these proposals.

"But please be assured that we are committed to making sure that all service users will still receive the support they need and we would work with them to determine the best possible outcome for them.

"If at some point in the future Parkway were to close, every effort will be made to redeploy staff as we will need their expertise in looking after those with complex needs."

Parkway Residential Home

There are currently 19 residents in Parkway.

Residents are being assured that should the home close at some point in the future they would either be supported in moving to another council run residential home or supported in a home provided by the independent sector. There would be a phased approach to any moves to suit the needs of the residents.

Cllr Child added: "It is not responsible or defendable to keep so many empty places, when the money could be used to improve our other services and to support more people in different ways.

"This would enable us to focus on providing the specialised support needed in these areas.

"All other types of residential care needs would be met by the independent sector who we already work closely with."

The Hollies and Rose Cross

There are two sessions a week at The Hollies and usually about five people attend on a Monday and eight on a Thursday.

At Rose Cross 42% of the places are empty and there is an attendance rate of 38%. At Rose Cross the lounge is used for the provision of day services and should this cease it would be made available for use by the residents.

If it was decided to move day services from The Hollies and Rose Cross those service users with complex needs would be supported to move to another day centre. This would mostly likely be Llys Y Werin for those who attend The Hollies and St John's for those who attend Rose Cross.

For those without complex needs then the council will have discussions with them about other ways it can support them to remain active in the community, try new activities and socialise with others.

Cllr Child said: "We think it's best that in future we focus day services for older people who have "complex needs". This would enable us to ensure we provide the specialised support they need.

"We would still continue to offer tailored support to people without "complex needs", and this would normally be in the community, for example our Local Area Coordinators programme has been very successful.

"The first step in this process is cabinet is considering whether to start consultation seeking the views of service users, staff and the public at its next meeting.


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