Future of residential care homes to be discussed by council chiefs

Council leaders will discuss the future of the authority’s
remaining specialist residential care homes and day centres at a meeting next

Leeds City Council’s executive board will be asked to
approve the start of a comprehensive consultation process which will look at proposals
to decommission Siegen Manor in Morley, Middlecross in Armley and The Green in
Seacroft along with their associated day centres.

If approved, the phased consultation will form part of a
four year strategy for how adult social care can continue to be provided in
Leeds in the face of unprecedented budget cuts which will see the council save
£48m over the next year alone.

Aimed at moving further away from long-term, institutional
care, the next phase of the Better Lives Strategy would also see permanent
admissions to Knowle Manor in Morley and Spring Gardens in Otley cease once a
suitable alternative has been identified.

A progress report and business case will also be drawn up
for Home Lea House and Dolphin Manor in Rothwell, where local community groups
have expressed an interest in establishing social enterprises to take over services

The first two phases of the Better Lives Strategy allowed
the council to invest in new community facilities including the South Leeds Independence
Centre, Holt Park Active and Assisted Living Leeds.

also allowed the council to continue to provide a high standard of adult social
care across the city.

If they progress, proposals for this next phase would save
the council £4m over the next four years, contributing to overall budget

Councillor Adam
Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care
, said:

“It is important to emphasise that this is the start of a
consultation process. No decisions have been made and we need work together to
gather the views of everyone involved before any further steps are taken.

“These are incredibly
difficult options to have to consider, but the council’s current financial
situation means they are not something that we can shy away from.

“We are acutely aware that any consultation concerning the
future of care provision can create a great deal of uncertainty and worry for
those who receive care as well as for their family and loved ones.

“However, the harsh reality is that government cuts to
our budget mean we simply cannot afford to continue to provide adult social
care in the same way that we have in the past and we must look at new ways of
doing things both now and in the future.”

Consultation on the next phase of the Better Lives Strategy
will include one-to-one interviews with all service users, relatives and
carers, group question and answer sessions, meetings with community groups and
discussions with staff.

Cllr Ogilvie added: 

“We need to be clear that whatever the
result of the consultation, nobody will be forced to leave their home or day
services until an alternative has been found nearby that they are happy with
and which fits their individual needs.

“Those taking part in the consultation will of course be
supported every step of the way and we will make sure they are fully informed
and involved at all stages.”

New city-wide contracts for the provision of home care,
which are planned to be introduced during 2016 and commence in January 2015,
will also see consultation on proposals to cease the provision of the in house community
support service begin if approved by the executive board.

Further reports to next week’s meeting will also
look at the provision of housing for older people across the city.

Cllr Ogilvie said: 

“Increasingly, people are telling us they
want to remain in their own homes, living independently for longer and taking
up community-based day services which they have more choice and control over.

“That has seen demand for the traditional model of
residential care, day services and home care fall dramatically in recent years,
which has in turn allowed alternative models like our Neighbourhood Networks and
more personalised, tailor made care packages to flourish.

“Whilst we know there may be some difficult periods of
adjustment along the way, we firmly believe that the Better Lives Strategy
represents the best and most sustainable model for the future of adult social
care in Leeds.”

To view a full copy of the report, visit: www.democracy.leeds.gov.uk/documents/s123870/Better%20Lives%20Cover%20Report%20111114.pdf


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Communications Officer

Leeds City Council

Tel: 0113 224 3937