More details about the closure of a council-run care home in Arnold have today been announced.
Under proposals set to be approved next week, Leivers Court in Arnold would be closed in June 2019.
The move is part of Nottinghamshire County Council’s plans to close all of its remaining care homes, as it moves towards ‘extra-care’ housing.
Rather than a care home, which houses people with intensive needs, extra care allows residents a greater degree of independence.
Residents have access to round-the-clock care and their own front door, which supporters say can help increase recovery time for older people.
The council has already closed one care home, and eventually plans to shut its other five, in a bid to save £4.346m from the council’s budget.
Its plan is to close each care home once a nearby extra care centre is opened.
For those who still need more intensive care, the council pays private care homes to provide beds.
However, concerns have been raised about the private sector’s capacity to deal with demand at a price the council can afford to pay.
A council report says the independent sector believes it can meet demand if beds are booked in blocks of five, “however this is not a guarantee that the independent sector will subsequently be able to meet the specification requirements at the costs initially indicated”.
A lack of care beds can cause “bed blocking”, as seen in the recent BBC2 programme Hospital where patients are medically fit to leave hospital but can’t, because care beds can’t be found.
The decision to move towards the ‘extra care’ model was taken when Labour were in charge of the council, but is now being implemented by the Conservatives – who currently run Nottinghamshire County Council.
The report says: “The condition of the care and support centres estate is variable. Some environments are no longer fully fit for future purpose and are not an optimal model of modern provision in line with care home design principles of dementia-friendly design.”
Councillor Stuart Wallace is the chairman of the committee which is overseeing the closures, as well as being the Conservative councillor for the Newark East ward.
He said: “The closure of our remaining care and support centres was approved in February 2015 following consultation.
“At this time, a commitment was made to open ‘housing with care’ (or extra care) facilities in the same area to offer an alternative to residential care. There will be no closures until alternative accommodation is provided.
“We have a target to double our housing with care places across Nottinghamshire over the next three years from 242 places to 500.
“There are 24 long term residents in our five remaining care and support centres and we are proposing to work closely with them and their families to arrange suitable alternative accommodation prior to the closure of each centre.
“We are also planning to replace the short term respite and assessment beds we have at the centres by buying these from the independent sector or including them in the housing with care schemes.”
The proposals are due to be approved at the Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee on Monday, May 14.