From: Reading Borough Council <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 10:30 AM
Subject: Reading Borough Council moves to ensure investment in nursing care in Southcote
Reading Borough Council moves to ensure investment in nursing care in Southcote
Reading Borough Council Press Release
DEMENTIA care in Reading is set to receive a major boost with proposals to build a brand new residential nursing home for older people.
The site of the former Alice Burrows residential home, at Dwyer Road, Southcote, will provide nursing care for up to 70 people. Thirty spaces will be set aside to care for residents who are either very frail or in need of dementia care, and are eligible for support from the Council's adult social care service.
On Monday January 19, at Reading Borough Council's Policy Committee, Councillors will be asked to agree the start of a tender exercise for a partner to work with the Council on delivering the scheme.
Demand for residential nursing care is growing nationally, particularly for specialist dementia care. That is also the case in Reading where 2011 Census figures show an 8% increase in population of people aged 60-74, with the figure expected to rise in future years. At the same time, the Alzheimer's Society estimate almost two-thirds of all care home residents have a form of dementia. This is in contrast to the reduced need for residential only care, which is seeing reducing demand as alternatives such as extra-care are developed.
Reading as a town currently has five nursing homes, but only two offering specialist care for people with dementia. Reading Borough Council is acting to ensure that this need is met by investing in a new residential nursing home in Southcote. The plans have been discussed in detail with Healthwatch Reading, Alzheimers Society, Age UK and other community groups, all of which support the idea.
Rachel Eden, Lead Councillor for Adult Social Care at Reading Borough Council, said:
"Reading Borough Council is determined to ensure that people in Reading get care and support when they need it to live as fulfilling lives as possible. The proposal to build a new residential nursing home with specialist support for people with dementia is a major step forward. It would add to the increasing range of specialist support and care available to residents in the town.
"More and more people are choosing to live independently as they get older. A wonderful new extra care housing facility recently opened at Cedar Court in Whitley and the council has agreed a partner to deliver another in Caversham. However while extra care housing allows people to live independently with the care at hand, there is also a need for some residents to receive nursing and specialist dementia care. I will ask my fellow councillors to plan for that need by agreeing an ambitious new nursing care facility in the heart of the community in Southcote.
"Despite the constraints, including government budget cuts imposed on Reading, the council should take a lead in investing for the future and ensure that support is available for today's older generation and generations to come. This proposal will be an important part in that."
Under the Care Act 2014, the Council will have a new duty to promote the efficient and effective operation of the local market for care and support services. The Council's proposal to release land at the site of the former Alice Burrows Care Home to build a new residential care facility is a step towards complying with the new Care Act requirements, and to provide the level of care needed.
The Policy Committee report can be found at http://beta.reading.gov.uk/article/2953/Policy-Committee-19-JAN-2015. If approved, a four month tender process to find a developer will start in late January.ENDS
Notes for Editors:
Demand for non-nursing residential care has been declining in recent years as alternatives such as extra care housing have been developed. The Council is on target to meet its policy commitment to develop 240 extra care housing units across the Borough. Cedar Court in Whitley opened in the autumn, and in November 2014 the Council's Policy Committee agreed to enter into a contract with A2 Dominion Housing Group to develop the former Arthur Clark Care Home site in Albert Road to provide a scheme of 44 extra care housing units.
Reading Borough Council Press Releases can be found online at http://www.reading.gov.uk/news/pressreleases/
Media Contact: Anna Fowler
Tel: 0118 937 3957