Derbyshire County Council (DCC) is to consult on proposals to close seven care homes run by the local authority that need substantial maintenance, renovation and refurbishment.
The homes – Ladycross House, Beechcroft, East Clune, Holmlea, The Spinney, Goyt Valley House, and Gernon Manor – collectively accommodate 68 residents supported by 240 staff.
Significant maintenance, renovation and refurbishment is required the council’s ageing care homes, with work needed on replacing boilers, heating systems, refitting all kitchens and bathrooms, roofing works and installing sprinkler systems. There is also a pressing need for an invasive rewire in each home to be carried out by September 2022.
If the works do go ahead residents could face significant disruption as they would have to move out for up to 40 weeks while it was completed and staff would need to be redeployed.
However, even if the repairs costing £30m were carried out, the report to be discussed on 18 November says the homes are no longer fit for purpose and do not have the space, facilities or capability to be adapted to provide high quality care for older people with increasingly complex needs. This is due to people going into residential care later which means they are often frailer.If councillors agrees the consultation proposals, Derbyshire residents would have 12 weeks to give their views from 22 November 2021.
“It is clear that Covid-19 has had a long-lasting impact on the way we all live our lives including for our older residents,” said Councillor Natalie Hoy, DCC cabinet member for adult social care.
“Although we were already seeing an increasing trend of older people choosing to remain independent rather than going into residential care, the pandemic has put that into even sharper focus,” she added.
“We have to review all possible options in relation to these residential homes to ensure that older people live in buildings which are safe, fit for purpose and meet all the required standards to provide them with the best possible care.”
During the height of the Covid pandemic, the DCC suspended plans to close the seven care homes.
In May this year, when plans were suspended Martin Allen, Regional Secretary for GMB Midland & East Coast Region, said:
“The plan to close these Derbyshire care homes, putting hundreds of jobs at risk in the care sector, was a bad idea from day one. The public knew it, care workers knew it, residents knew it and the GMB union knew it.
“This decision not to close them will come as welcome news at a time when our care workers have been at the front line of tackling this virus.
“The GMB is proud of each and every care worker that has made this happen and we will continue to fight for them every step of the way”.