Care homes closure plan
SEVERAL care homes in Rhondda Cynon Taf will close under a council proposal to shake up care for the elderly. The council currently provides 322 beds across 11 care homes.
SEVERAL care homes in Rhondda Cynon Taf will close under a council proposal to shake up care for the elderly.
The local authority has not said how many of the 11 council-run care homes in the borough would close or stay open under its proposal, which it is putting out to consultation.
A recommendation put forward by consultants Practice Solutions in an independent review had suggested closing all 11.
However, the council’s preferred option is to keep some open of the homes open. It said this would provide choice, protect against market failure and allow it to provide more specialist care.
The council said the number of homes that remain open would be based on the capacity it thinks it needs in each of the Rhondda, Cynon and Taf areas.
The council currently provides 322 beds across 11 care homes including approximately 145 beds for people with dementia.
In place of the care homes, the council is in the process of developing 300 places in “extra care” facilities across RCT which were agreed in a £50m plan in 2017.
The first of six so called “extra care” schemes is already under way in Aberaman and will provide 40 apartments. In “extra care” schemes, elderly people live in their own apartments in blocks where they can receive the level of care and domestic support that they need.
If this plan is agreed, a further period of consultation would be needed with residents and staff before a final decision is made after which a planned relocation of all residents would take place, with support and assessments put in place to assist them with change and to accommodate their choice of home
The council says there a is shift towards more community-based options when it comes to care, but that there is still an over reliance on care homes with Rhondda Cynon Taf still placing a greater proportion of people aged 65 or over in residential care than other Welsh authorities.
The current average occupancy of the council homes is 88% and the council says it is unlikely that demand for its care homes will increase substantially in the near future.
Councillor Geraint Hopkins said he believes, as a matter of principle, that the council should keep a presence in the RCT care market.
He said: “It is right that we are looking at this now because the council doesn’t just have a duty to the citizens of RCT now, but a duty to prepare the way for future generations as well.”
Councillor Pauline Jarman, leader of the opposition, said she expects the process for engaging is “robust, impartial and nonjudgemental. That the people are not only heard but listened to.”
Peter Crews, the branch secretary for Unison in the Cwm Taf area, said that their priority is their members and that they would not accept any compulsory redundancies.
“We do support the investment being brought in to develop new residential facilities called extra care. No services can stand still.
“We are willing to work with the council but we are looking for a commitment. There is going to be an impact on certain homes and staffing. We will do everything we possibly can to protect their (care home staff ) jobs.
“They now there needs to be change but change for the right reason.”
Councillor Andrew Morgan, the leader of the council, said: “We can give a commitment that whatever comes at the end of this we think we can accommodate staff so we won’t be facing compulsory redundancies.”