To seek Cabinet approval to close Southfield Care Home, Stroud and Wyatt House Care Home, Stroud and to consult with residents and their families on the impact of the closures.
Cllr Roger Wilson, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, (Commissioning), sought approval for the proposed closures of Southfield House Care Home, Stroud, and Wyatt House Care Home, Stroud and to undertake consultation on the impact of the closures.
Having considered all of the information, including known proposals, alternative options and reasons for recommendations, Cabinet noted the report and,
1. Approve the closure of Southfield House Care Home, Stroud.
2. Agree that any capital receipts arising from the disposal of Southfield House Care Home will be ring-fenced for future developments for older people in the County.
3. Delegate authority to the Director of Integration, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care Commissioning, to:
i) Consult with residents and families of Southfield House Care Home on the impact of and arrangements for the closure of the care home.
ii) Facilitate moving the residents to an alternative care home that will meets their needs.
4. Approve the closure of Wyatt House Care Home.
5. Agree that any capital receipts arising from the disposal of the properties will be ring-fenced for future developments for older people in the County.
6. Delegate authority to the Director of Integration, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care Commissioning to:
i) Consult with residents and their families of Wyatt House on the impact of and arrangements for the closure of the care home.
ii) Facilitate moving the residents to an alternative care home that will meet their needs.
Cllr Roger Wilson, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, (Commissioning), gave a detailed account of the background and proposals relating to the proposed closures of Southfield House Care Home, Stroud, and Wyatt House Care Home, Stroud. In presenting the report, Cllr Wilson sought approval to undertake consultation on the impact of the closures.
Cllr Wilson expressed the difficultly in making this decision, particularly in relation to the impact the decision would have on residents, families and staff at the two care homes. Noting the exceptional care and competency provided by the staff at the care homes, Cllr Wilson acknowledged the care homes not only provided care to the residents, but also represented their homes.
Cllr Wilson reported that, sadly, on the advice of The Orders of St John Care Trust, (the charity organisation running the care homes), both properties had been identified as unfit for purpose for the future. As a result of changing demands for care, the two properties were unable to attract sufficient self-funding residents and were therefore struggling to maintain full occupancy.
Furthermore, the cost of making improvements to upgrade the properties was considered too expensive, and even then, would not reach the high standard of care deemed appropriate for Gloucestershire in 2019.
Cllr Wilson confirmed he had visited both care homes and had spoken to staff and to residents. He was also aware of several other members, (from a range of political parties), who had visited the properties and expressed his appreciation for the diligence that was being attributed to this sensitive issue.
Reporting on some of the features of the properties that had identified the care homes as being unsuitable for future use, (single double-glazing/poor 1970’s insulation), Cllr Wilson also referred to the out-dated design of the properties, expressing concern about the absence of en-suite facilities; the inappropriate size of bedrooms and corridors; and the inaccessible gardens, (although beautiful and well maintained), but without access for wheel chair users or residents with limited mobility.
Cllr Wilson recalled the cabinet decision taken on 19 June 2019, seeking approval of the Strategy for the Commissioning of Residential and Nursing Care Provision, where, under the requirements of the Care Act 2014, and in conjunction with the NHS, the Council was made accountable of the duty to provide the best and most suitable accommodation for elderly and vulnerable residents. In Gloucestershire, this decision had been against a backdrop of falling demand for residential care placements as more people remain in their homes for longer , rather than being admitted to care.
Responding to the question of why the decision to close the care homes needed to be taken at this time, and why it was not possible to allow the homes to remain open for existing residents, it was explained that the issue of retaining staff and providing quality care when the future of a care home is under question becomes much more challenging.
Acknowledging the impact on staff at the care homes and the inevitability of staff ... view the full minutes text for item 6