Cabinet agrees to consult over health and social care recommendations
At its meeting today (30 March) the Cabinet has agreed a series of recommendations to help stabilise and shape the future of Gloucestershire’s independent health and social care market.
The proposals were put forward following a period of engagement with Gloucestershire’s independent care market at the end of 2021 to help ensure the changing and more complex needs of residents can be met.
As well as being asked to agree to developing new services that helps protect and maintain people’s physical and mental wellbeing, supporting them to stay independent at home for as long as possible. Cabinet also agreed to begin a six-week consultation on the proposed closure of four of its existing care homes:
- Orchard House, Bishops Cleeve, Tewkesbury
- Westbury Court, Westbury, Forest of Dean
- Bohanam House, Gloucester
- The Elms, Stonehouse, Stroud
Demand for standard residential care home places has been falling consistently for the past five years. At the same time, more people are wanting to be cared for at home.
99% of Gloucestershire residents (across all ages) who responded to a survey at the end of last year said it was ‘very important’ or ‘quite important’ to be supported by community-based care so they could stay in their own home for longer.
To further support people’s stronger desire to stay at home for longer, the cabinet also agreed a new approach to using advances in technology to support caring for people at home.
The approach being taken by the county council has the backing of local NHS leaders who with an equally strong desire to support people to remain well and independent for as long as possible fully agree with the approach the council has set out.
Following the decisions take today, the county council and The Orders of St John Care Trust, who run the care homes as part of the Gloucestershire Care Partnership, will consult residents, their families, and employees to capture their views, concerns and comments as part of a six-week consultation.
Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Cabinet has agreed to the recommendations put before it today and this means we will now consult with those affected by these proposals.
“We understand that residents in the homes and their families may feel concerned about the proposals being considered and that is why they will be given the opportunity to have their say before a final decision is taken by cabinet in June.
“There will of course always be a need for residential care for those who need long term care and the changes that are being proposed will help ensure they receive this in facilities that are flexible enough to adapt as needs of an individual change and develop.”
The six-week consultation will begin next month, and the findings will be reported to Cabinet in June, where cabinet members will be asked to take a final decision on whether or not to proceed with the closure of the four homes.
Residents do not need to do anything at the moment. They will continue to receive the care they 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.