Consultation launches on health and social care market

Published
11.04.2022

Six-weeks of consultation into the future of four residential care homes starts today.

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Views, comments and concerns from residents, their families, employees and other interested parties are being sought, ahead of the June cabinet meeting, where a final decision will be taken on whether or not to close the following homes:

    • Orchard House, Bishops Cleeve, Tewkesbury
    • Westbury Court, Westbury, Forest of Dean
    • Bohanam House, Gloucester
    • The Elms, Stonehouse, Stroud

Before agreeing to consult on the proposed closure of the four homes, Cabinet, at its March meeting, received a report which set out the findings of engagement carried out with Gloucestershire’s care sector at the end of 2021.  The key findings were:

  • 86% of providers told us that they had been negatively impacted because of the Covid19 pandemic
  • 70% of providers told us that loss of income had had a moderate-high impact on their business.
  • For care homes the loss of resident income from both private and public funded sources has negatively impacted their financial stability
  • Recruitment, and retention of staff was seen as a key challenge across the entire care market
  • Providers have also stated that increased costs at the start of the pandemic related to equipment, staffing and PPE has continued to increase.
  • There is often a requirement for extra space, equipment and training linked to the individual care and support in order to meet more complex needs. Providers felt that the forward impact of the pandemic is likely to exacerbate these costs.

As part of the consultation process, meetings with residents, relatives and staff will be held at each of the four care homes to give people a chance to give their views on the proposals. Further meetings will be held at the homes by independent organisation, Evolving Communities, who are an organisation experienced at stakeholder engagement in health and social care.

Those who want to respond online can do so by visiting the county council’s consultation portal here and completing the short survey.

Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “I understand the concerns residents and families have about these potential closures.

“Whilst there is never a good time to make these types of proposals, having heard from the care market and in the face of ever-increasing vacancy levels in our care homes, we simply can’t simply stand by and do nothing.

“We do genuinely want to hear from all those impacted during the consultation period so when we come to take decisions in June, we have all the evidence in front of us.”

Residents do not need to do anything, The Orders of St John Care Trust, who run the care homes will continue to provide the care and support residents need.

If plans to close are approved residents and those who support them will be fully supported in finding the most appropriate way to meet their needs.

You can read the full cabinet report here. The consultation closes on 20 May.

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