The Lincolnshire County Council pledge comes as it has now decided on the closure timescales for its homes in Nettleham, Sleaford and Grantham. As it works towards modernising and personalising care provision in Lincolnshire, the authority’s Executive decided last July that the homes would close, but only when it was satisfied that suitable alternative provision was available.
In addition, the council has also revealed today that it is in the early stages of work towards new housing for the over 55’s in Nettleham and a potential dementia centre in Grantham.
Councillor Graham Marsh, Conservative (Alford & Sutton Division), Executive Member for Adult Social Care, said:
"With a rapidly growing elderly population, providing the best possible care for our residents is an absolute priority for the council. By closing three outdated and expensive homes and replacing them with access to an improved menu of care options, we hope residents can see how we’re meeting this priority.The county council is working with interested parties including Longhurst Group and West Lindsey District Council to develop proposals for a new-build housing-with-care facility to meet community needs in the Linelands area. The authority is also working with The Orders of St. John Care Trust towards their proposed new care home at Springfield Road, Grantham, which is expected to receive planning consent shortly with construction likely to commence during 2012.
"We promised to only close the remaining three homes when we were confident that alternatives were available; we’ve worked very hard to identify and create those alternatives by stimulating the market and high-quality choice, with sufficient vacancies and specialisms, now exists in each area.
"What’s more, we’re striving to add to this further through the creation of new, extra care housing and dementia centres, whilst £9.1m of ‘reablement’ funding with the NHS will also be invested in support services and technologies."
Linelands in Nettleham, Bonner House in Sleaford and Grantham’s Harrison House are now working towards closure by the end of May. All staff are being supported and the county council is assisting those who are looking to enter the market as private providers themselves.
Cllr Marsh added:
"There will very understandably be concerns among carers and people who use the homes about the disruption and change, but we’ll help them every step of the way to make it as smooth a transition as possible. Once these have happened, we’re confident that the future for both current and future users of care services in Lincolnshire will be much improved."Carers and the people currently using the three homes will now be invited to a series of marketplace events to help them find the best solutions for them, including respite and intermediate care and other needs. Information packs will also be sent to the service users and each of the homes, with local providers also visiting the homes to present the range of services they offer and the county council will offer all support possible.