A DECREASING number of nursing homes and the rising costs of placements in Staffordshire means the county council will have to step in to ensure people’s care needs are being met.
In a series of recommendations put before Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet, the authority has announced it will be investing £1.2million to turn the former Hillfields home in Burton into a nursing home.
Two further homes could be built in the areas of most need. If agreed, the homes will be owned by the county council, but operated by a traded company or external care provider.
With a decreasing number of nursing homes available, the county council is stepping in to ensure that nursing care is available to the rising number of old people who need it, and well as taking proactive steps to help people live longer, healthier and more independent lives.
County Councillor Alan White, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing said: “Supporting an increasing ageing population care is an issue for the whole country, but particularly impacts on larger counties like Staffordshire. We estimate that by 2039 there will be an extra 50,000 people aged 75 or over, and the cost of care for these people is soaring.
“Putting ourselves in the care market and increasing nursing home capacity will mean we can offer good quality, cost-effective placements to meet the assessed eligible social care needs of people in Staffordshire. An initial investment of £1.2 million to refurbish the former Hillfields site, as well as a proposal to build two new nursing homes in the areas of highest demand, will see the county council developing high-care environments which maximises the use of advances in technology to support the needs of residents.
“With the number of nursing homes decreasing in the county, and prices rising for existing placements, we have to ensure there are enough good-quality places available that meet demand and represent the best use of taxpayer’s money.
“However, we have also been clear that there needs to be a national debate on how we manage and fund care as a country, to ensure we can keep giving care to those that need it.”