Wednesday, 6 November 2013

RE: Redeveloping Arthur Clark - my reply to the save arthur clark campaign

Dear Mr Trinder (and Nicole if you pick this up) Thank you very much for your email. There are some helpful suggestions in here, and I will pass them on to officers. I agree that a good number of the ideas and work being done on neighbourhood day services (referred to in item 8) could fit in very well with extra care housing on that site. Similarly the building could also act as a base for the day services coordinator in the future. However the report on that focuses on the actions that have been taken over the last few months and will be taken in the coming weeks and months. I’m sure you’d agree that given the likely timescale on any building work it’s important not to wait for the new building but to deliver to people now. It does briefly reference the Arthur Clark/Albert Road site as a site for the future, and I think at this stage that’s right – I don’t think it right to over-promise, but important for the development of services that there’s an awareness. It also means of course that the things that the council and community learn as a result of this pilot can inform the way the buildings are designed. Your suggestions about the bistro, lounge/public spaces are exactly what I’d hope for and in the report it suggests that this is what would be expected. Certainly the tender will reflect that. For example I was talking to officers only today who would like to be able to run aromatherapy sessions in any new building. Day activities and services are what I think are mentioned and suggested in the report. Demand for respite day care and day services is changing substantially. As you know PERSONAL INFO HIDDEN IN PUBLIC VERSION. I think that it’s been clear that day activities and services (as opposed to day care) for the majority of older people is wanted in local communities like Caversham. The council remains committed to also providing a specialist respite and day care service, but – and this is where we perhaps differ - in one location instead of two. This was always the case for some Caversham residents as - because of the age of the building - Albert Road did not have toilet facilities for people with wheelchairs or for personal care needs. However much of the activities that happened at Albert Road I think the new day services in Caversham will be able to provide. To give a feel for the seriousness of this idea you may be interested to know that the former manager of Albert Road has just been appointed to be the coordinator for neighbourhood day services, which I think reflects the direction of travel. The building footprint is quite affected by planning considerations but I think your suggestions are very helpful for the writing of the tender. I’d be particularly interested in your suggestion regarding a care station, I wondered if you could email me any more thoughts you had on that but I’ve passed that along to council officers. Regarding dementia, extra care can actually be a very suitable accommodation for residents with dementia, until they get to the point where what they really need is nursing care. As you know Arthur Clark which as you know did manage to care for and support people with some levels of dementia but then when their needs changed substantially they needed to move on. So although there isn’t a specialist ‘wing’ I would envisage that as a resident who started to get dementia I would not immediately move. Are you suggesting something similar to the Alice Burrows site with a nursing home co-located? If so I think that’s an interesting idea but would depend on a partner willing and ready to work with us on that – let’s see what the tender process comes up with. I notice you’ve copied in various others with an interest in this, so am doing the same. Apart from the personal information REMOVED IN PUBLIC VERSION I think everything else I’ve said is not confidential. Best wishes, Rachel