Leeds City Council’s executive board will be asked to approve plans to shape the future of older people’s extra care housing and residential care in the city at their meeting next week.
If approved, the proposals will deliver a holistic, co-ordinated approach to increase and improve specialist accommodation for the city’s increasing number of older people.
The first of two reports, Older People’s Housing and Care, highlights the necessity for new housing to meet the needs of older residents in the city, and particularly those over the age of 75. It also acknowledges the challenge that the council faces in being able to modernise and improve housing for older people in the context of the growing population and reductions in public sector funding.
Older people want to remain living independently for as long as possible, and the council is proposing closer partnership working with developers and service providers to ensure that all the housing needs of older residents across the whole city are met. The council’s approach will combine its own investment in new affordable housing and the use of surplus land to encourage developers to invest in building specialist housing for older people in areas of the city where there are currently gaps in provision or where future gaps can be predicted now.
The second report, Better Lives for People of Leeds – Residential Care for Older People, focuses on the local authority residential care homes where no recommendations were made as part of the first phase of the review in 2011. The council has carried out a significant amount of work to identify demand, capacity, quality and cost across the whole housing and care sector. This showed that demand for long term residential care is decreasing, but highlighted an increase in demand for intermediate and specialist nursing care. It also identified the need to expand the quality and choice of extra care housing in the city.
The report recommends that a formal consultation with residents and their families/carers at the affected local authority homes should start in March. The proposals to be consulted on are:
• The potential closure of Amberton Court, Burley Willows, Fairview, Manorfield House, Musgrave Court, and Primrose Hill due to the high cost of maintaining these older buildings and the availability of alternative residential care in the surrounding areas;
• The potential transfer of Home Lea House to another community-based organisation; and,
• The potential to develop Suffolk Court as a specialist intermediate care unit in partnership with the NHS.
Dedicated members of adult social care staff will meet with each resident and their family/carers to talk through the proposed options for the home that they live in and assess their ongoing care needs and wishes.
The consultation will run for 12 weeks and all the information gathered will be pulled together to form recommendations, which will be presented to executive board later in the year for a final decision.
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member responsible for adult social care said:
“We realise that older people and their families will feel anxious about this proposed consultation about the future of their care homes, and I would like to assure them that we are very sympathetic to their feelings and that everyone’s views will be listened to – and heard.
“Leeds City Council is committed to modernising and improving services for older people to ensure that we are able to meet the needs of our ageing population now and in the future.
“With reducing resources and more older people to take care of, we simply cannot continue to do things exactly the same way that they have always been done.
“These proposals are the next step in our work to transform housing, care and support services for older people, and will give them access to a wider range of high quality options in the future."
Notes to editors
In September 2011, executive board approved recommendations from phase one of the review of the council’s 19 residential care homes. Three homes were closed, three will close when alternative provision has been built in the area, three were retained as specialist dementia units, Harry Booth House is being developed in partnership with Leeds Community Healthcare Trust as the city’s first intermediate care unit (opening April 2013) and Richmond House is being developed as a specialist respite centre.
Ninety six people from the three closed homes and Harry Booth House have been successfully moved into new accommodation, generally independent sector residential homes.
The three closed homes will be demolished in order to reduce costs associated with ongoing maintenance and security. This will also make the vacant sites more attractive to potential developers.
For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578