Visits to Care Homes to discuss New Homes
22/04/2010 Leave a comment
Over the past couple of weeks I have been visiting Care Homes in Mildenhall, Lowestoft and Haverhill.
The tour was to meet with the Customers, Families, Carers and Staff at each home that will be relocated to three brand new homes if our bid for £30M of PFI Credits is successful which will allow the County Council to build 3 new Care Homes in the county over the next 4 years.
At each home I and a small team of Officers went through what and why we are building new homes and was a great opportunity to hear and learn what residents and their families wanted from our outline proposals. If you were one of those who came along thank you for taking the time to come and listen to what I hope was helpful information about our proposals to build a fantastic new care home facilities as part of a round of investment of £30million pounds for older people in Suffolk.
These meetings were residents opportunity not only to find out more, but to ask questions and have your say on the proposals.
We took along a scale model that intentionally was not meant to be any sort of finished model but to demonstrate the concept about what we are thinking to achieve and it proved quite a talking point at each presentation.
The first question we tried to answer was why we were thinking of bulding new homes. All 16 of the County Council care homes in Suffolk are rated core either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ according to the Care Quality Commission and the homes we visited were no exception.
I personally think this is both reassuring and points to the high standard of care for older people in Suffolk we currently and want to in the future provide.
However, we know that the demand for care will increase in future with a growing older population and more people who will have special care needs, particularly associated with dementia or memory difficulties and other issues.
We need to plan for this demand increase this means meeting the standards of excellence expected of care homes in the 21st Century, supported by research which shows that careful building design can be a tremendous aid to people’s health and wellbeing. We want to reflect this in our homes and meet the high expectations of the people we serve.
Of course, our main focus is to support people to live independent lives at home wherever possible, but when that is no longer achievable, we have a duty to ensure that we can provide the best care and support wherever people live.
So if the proposals go ahead, all the residents in the four homes we visited will be able to move into a new home in 2015 in their town, and we will help them prepare for the move well in advance and all along the way.
What we prosing will be cutting edge and what we actually mean by modern cutting edge is a home that in the background is efficient with modern kitchens and the best equipped bathrooms etc., but at the same time is designed as, you or I, would want it to be.
I think the danger when you here about a larger home is that you might think that it will be some large impersonal institution and that is absolutely not what it will be.
It will be design around small clusters of rooms to deliver a home within a home, warn, friendly, a place where residents will get to keep the friendships they have built up with their neighbours in their home and those who care for them.
We got lots of very useful and interesting feedback that will become an integral part of my thinking as we finalise our plans to bid for Government Money to build the new homes.