Closure of care homes considered due to falling demand and outdated dementia facilities
Gloucestershire County Council is asking residents and their families for their views on a proposal to close two care homes in the Stroud area – Southfield and Wyatt House.
Demand for care home places is falling across the county as more people are being supported to stay in their own homes. There is a 10 to 15 per cent vacancy level across care homes in the Stroud district; Southfield consistently has more than 15 per cent of its rooms empty with forecasts indicating further decline in the years ahead.
Wyatt House was built in the early 1970s, and therefore cannot offer the more modern and appropriate specialist dementia care the council can purchase from other homes in the area.
The county council and The Orders of St John Care Trust, who run the care homes as part of the Gloucestershire Care Partnership, will hold a series of face-to-face meetings with the residents, their families, and employees over the coming days to go through the proposals in more detail and answer any questions or concerns they may have.
Cllr Roger Wilson, cabinet member for adult social care commissioning at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “These are proposals that reflect what we know older people truly want and that is to stay at home for as long as possible and be supported there.
“I understand that this news is likely to cause some concern to residents and their families and that is why we are offering to meet with them to discuss things in detail and hear their views, before any decision is taken.
“We remain completely committed to working with the care homes to ensure that the residents of Wyatt and Southfield continue to receive all the care they need.”
Dan Hayes, chief executive of The Orders of St John Care Trust, comments: “We put residents, their families and our colleagues at the heart of every decision we make, and our primary concern is to ensure that our residents continue to receive the highest quality care from our dedicated caring employee team throughout the next few weeks.
“We have worked with Gloucestershire County Council to consider the challenges at these homes at length and sadly we have been unable to find a solution that keeps these two homes either financially viable or fit for purpose.
“We will of course work with the council to engage with residents, their families and our employees to hear their views, and to minimise any uncertainty caused by this proposal.”
Once the council has heard from residents and their families, and the care homes have spoken with their employees, the council’s cabinet, at its July meeting, will be asked to decide whether or not to close the homes.
If the closures are approved, residents will be assigned a dedicated social worker to help them and their families through the transition. The Orders of St John Care Trust will be providing support to any and all impacted employees to access one of the many vacancies that they have across the county.