Green light for extra home care hours

Posted on Saturday 11th December 2010 at 10:22 pm by SH (Editor)

Conservative councillors’ view of a recent decision by South Gloucestershire Council

A call by ‘out of touch’ Labour and LibDem councillors on South Gloucestershire Council to think again on plans to provide hundreds more home care hours has been dismissed by the authority’s Conservative care chief.

Following a special ‘call-in’ meeting of its Community Care & Housing Select Committee back in October, Labour and LibDem councillors called for the Conservative-run authority to re-consult on working with an external partner – either in the community, voluntary or commercial sector – to build and run two new ‘next generation’ residential care homes in Yate and Kingswood.

The Lab-LibDem request was branded ‘bizarre’ after it was shown that 90 per cent of the record number of people who took part in last year’s extensive council consultation preferred the option that identified the possibility of working with a partner if it was found to be advantageous.

It has now been calculated that the equivalent of around 500 extra home care hours a week will be generated when the council extends the partnership approach it is already taking with its first three extra care developments to the planned two new residential care homes too – rather than building and running them itself.

Residents also backed proposals to care for more people in their own homes for longer, as well as build new 21st century care facilities and close the council’s 8 ageing and substandard care homes, where 45 elderly residents had to move out of last year because modern care and equipment could not be provided in the homes’ small rooms.

The council is already working successfully with not-for-profit housing associations on extra care developments in Yate, Downend and Kingswood.

Through a contractual arrangement with any partner, the council would still control costs and quality of care and around 30 per cent of the local care market.

The council’s plans to transform older people’s services have already got the backing of local charities and older people’s groups.

Cllr Matthew Riddle, Conservative Cabinet Member for Community Care and Housing, said:

“With all the astonishing claims made by Cllr Perkins and others of ‘u-turns’ and ‘outsourcing’ – anyone would think that nominations are open for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

It remains to this day an unequivocal fact that last year’s hugely successful council consultation saw 90 per cent of people favour the option that clearly identified the possibility of working with an external partner to provide new care homes if this was found to be advantageous – and we can now show just how advantageous this approach will be.

Not only will extending the partnership approach that we are already taking with our three new extra care developments be 100 per cent consistent with our consultation, but it allow us to maintain a significant presence in the local care market and provide the equivalent of 500 extra home care hours a week.

This will allow many more older residents to stay in their own homes for longer – which is a request we heard loud and clear from the record consultation responses.

That opposition councillors want us to think again about this extra investment shows just how out of touch they are with older residents’ wishes.”

Source: Conservative Group on South Gloucestershire Councill

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