02 February 2016

Northamptonshire County Council’s Cabinet will meet next week (Tuesday) to discuss a review of accommodation for elderly people in Northamptonshire.

The review forms part of a wider accommodation strategy which looks at the county’s future needs for the next five years and this includes a review of Olympus Care Services care homes.

Consultation launched

Cabinet members will be asked to agree that if the draft budget is agreed at cabinet later this month a formal consultation is launched on plans to close an Olympus Care Services home and to consider the future role of its remaining five homes to make them more fit for purpose and better suited to the needs of older people.

This consultation will only take place if the draft budget proposals are approved and staff, residents and their families of the home proposed for closure, Ecton Brook in Northampton, would be fully involved in the consultation, before a final decision is made about the accommodation review in the summer.

County council cabinet member for adult social care Cllr Suresh Patel said: “We want to offer a real choice to older people in relation to their housing, care support, needs and their wider health and wellbeing. For some people, that will mean staying in their own home for as long as possible, for others that could entail moving into extra care housing, while others may need to go into a care home.

“This review looks at whether our existing provision meets the changing needs and expectations of our growing population. It has been a very tough process to identify which home we will put forward for closure and this decision is not made lightly.

“We will now consult with the families, residents and indeed the wider community about the potential closure. If the decision is then made to close this home, we will have dedicated staff working with families affected to find the best possible alternative accommodation.”

If the new care home placement costs more than the authority’s standard pay rate, the council will make up the difference in cost for the residents involved.

Accommodation strategy

The county council’s accommodation strategy outlines the forecast increase in demand for adult social care places in Northamptonshire – an extra 3,640 in the next five years. Daventry, south Northamptonshire and east Northamptonshire are expected to see the biggest increase in need.

The homes run by Olympus Care Services on behalf of the county council were built in the 1970s and 1980s and lack many essential facilities such as private bathrooms for residents.

These homes all offer the same type of accommodation and cater for the same needs, yet there is a need in Northamptonshire for a greater variety of accommodation and a greater choice for families.

This accommodation review will look at how these homes might be used in the future to meet the needs of the county’s elderly population and whether the sites they are on could be better used to provide more choice, more capacity and more fit-for-purpose accommodation.

Cabinet will discuss the accommodation review at a meeting next Tuesday (9 February) at 2pm, followed by the special budget Cabinet meeting on 18 February.