Residents and staff at two of City of York Council’s Older People’s Homes – Grove House and Oakhaven – are being consulted on proposals to close the homes in early 2016, as part of plans to modernise accommodation for older people in the city.
There has still not been any announcement by the Council on the future of the Lowfields site. Residents had expected to be given a redevelopment timetable over the summer.
The plans seek to address the needs of York’s ageing population, making the best use of York’s existing Sheltered Housing by making it more accessible for people with higher care needs, and replacing the council’s seven out-dated Older People’s Homes, with more modern accommodation. Two Older People’s Homes – Oliver House and Fordlands – closed in 2012 as part of the programme.
The council’s Executive agreed to consult on proposals to close two more Older People’s Homes as part of the next phase of the project at their meeting on 30 July. Each of the council’s seven remaining Older People’s Homes was assessed against a number of criteria, to determine which homes should be consulted on for closure first.
The criteria covered:
• Whether there were any serious physical problems with the building which could impact on the quality of care provided to residents;
• Whether the site had potential alternative uses which will support the wider Older People’s Accommodation Programme;
• Whether there were any residents living at the home who had already been moved from another CYC older person’s home which was closed (Oliver House and Fordlands).
• The size of the home, with smaller homes struggling to provide a cost-efficient service to residents.
None of the seven Older People’s Homes were found to have serious physical problems with the buildings, so the decision was based on the other three criteria.
Grove House was chosen as one of the first homes to be consulted on re closure because:
• There are no residents living there who have moved as a result of an earlier closure
• it’s relatively small
• the location of the site means that it would be likely to generate a significant capital receipt if sold, helping to fund the wider Older People’s Accommodation Programme.
Oakhaven was also chosen because:
• There are no residents living there have moved as a result of an earlier closure
• it’s relatively small
• The site could be use to provide much-needed new Sheltered Housing with Extra Care in the Holgate Ward.
Michael Melvin, Assistant Director, Adult Social Care, City of York Council, said: “Residents and staff at Grove House and Oakhaven are rightly proud of their homes and the communities they have built there. We recognise that the closure consultation process can be an unsettling and upsetting one and we will be working closely with them, and their families, to make sure they have the support and advice they need. However, we have to keep the aims of the wider Older People’s Accommodation Programme in sight.
“We want to ensure that we are able to help older people to remain independent in their own communities as long as possible, providing them with a wide choice of accommodation to meet their requirements. The needs of our residents are of paramount importance and the actions we take now will ensure that they – and future generations – will have the best possible quality of life. The consultation on proposals to close two more of our outdated Older People’s Homes is a step nearer achieving that goal.”
Residents, their relatives and staff have already been informed of the proposals and will be consulted on their views and any preferences they have about where they would like to move to should the home be closed, over the next six weeks.
The results of the consultations will be presented to the Executive on Thursday 29 October.