Home for older people in Newbold to close after council decision

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Plans to replace a home for older people with purpose-built modern ‘extra care’ apartments have been agreed by Derbyshire County Council.

At its meeting today on Tuesday, the county council’s Cabinet agreed to the proposal to close Derwent House Home for Older People in Ulverston Road, Newbold, Chesterfield, and replace it with up to 50 one and two-bedroomed apartments for older people and communal facilities on the same site.

The new development would be subject to planning permission being granted for the site and an application will be submitted to Chesterfield Borough Council at a later date.

The decision follows a 12-week consultation held earlier this year where residents, relatives, staff, local people and other interested parties had the opportunity to give their views on the plan.

Derwent House, a 40-bed home with 31 current residents, will close within six months and residents will be helped to move to alternative care.

Residents, their relatives and staff at the home will be told about Cabinet’s decision in person today where possible.

Full assessments of all the residents’ needs will now be carried out and support will be given to them and their families to make their moves as smooth as possible.

Council staff will be able to advise people and help them find the best possible accommodation to meet their needs.

Meetings will also be held with staff with the aim of re-deploying them where possible.

The plan to replace Derwent House with an extra care housing scheme is part of the county council’s wider £200 million investment plans to transform residential and community care services across Derbyshire, delivering dementia-friendly care and modern, purpose-built accommodation to older people.

The council’s wider plans include:

• at least 1,600 ‘extra care’ modern one and two-bedroomed apartments with on-site care in 27 locations across Derbyshire, available within five miles for most people

• giving people the chance to live independently with their own front door and stay together as a couple

• two new community care centres offering specialist dementia care – in Heanor and Darley Dale, in addition to one already open in Staveley and another – Oakland Village in Swadlincote – which is due to open later this year

• two split site community care centres covering Ashbourne and the High Peak

• new day services and health and wellbeing zones across the county.

The wider plans were drawn up following countywide consultation which started in 2009 where people currently using council residential and day care services, their relatives or carers and staff were asked for their views on changing the way services were offered.

They were asked for their views on extra care and specialist community care centres and there was a positive response to the plans, with people feeling they would give more choice and independence to older people.

The first consultation also showed that many welcomed the fact the county council was planning ahead in anticipation of what older people might need or want in the future, particularly in the light of an ageing population.

Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Care Councillor Charles Jones said: “The decision to replace Derwent House with extra care apartments forms an important part of the council’s wider plans to transform residential and community care services for older people across Derbyshire.

“The £200 million investment plans will deliver dementia-friendly care and modern, purpose-built accommodation to older people and increase the choices they have in the future.”

Councillor Jones added: “We understand this is an anxious time for residents at Derwent House and their families and we will do everything we can to make their moves to alternative homes as smooth as possible.

“Full assessments of residents’ needs will be carried out and we will work closely with them and their families to help them find new accommodation they are happy with.”

The county council has produced a short film showcasing its plans which can be viewed on its website at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/transformingcare

Consultations will be held at each individual county council residential home that could be affected by the council’s wider plans and no decisions will be made by Cabinet until after consultation is carried out.