Staffordshire County Council has agreed to put plans to refurbish a 38-bed care home on hold, while it evaluates the impact of COVID-19.
The council’s cabinet voted last week to pause the project as part of a wider review into the county’s care home market.
Councillors also voted to continue exploring the idea of building two council-owned care homes, but the report notes that the ‘intended design and delivery models be reviewed’ to ensure that they are ‘consistent with enhanced infection control requirements from COVID-19’.
According to the report, there are currently 242 registered care homes in Staffordshire with 7,478 beds.
But the report also notes that the numbers of homes and beds has been decreasing in recent years.
Since December 2019, six Staffordshire care homes have closed resulting in a decrease of 107 beds, it adds.
‘The council currently supports over 2,000 older people to meet their assessed eligible social care needs in a care home: 57% are in a residential home and 43% in a nursing home,’ the report states.
‘80% of Council funded placements are within Staffordshire with 20% outside the county where people have a need for care to be provided in another area – for example to support specialist care needs or to be closer to family.
‘The remaining care home beds within Staffordshire beds are used by self- funders, the NHS, other local authorities, or are vacant.’
Earlier this month, the council revealed plans to run its own small-scale children’s home, as part of a pilot scheme.
‘Offering good-quality, affordable care that meets people’s assessed care needs is very important to us,’ said cabinet member for health, care and wellbeing, Cllr Johnny McMahon.
‘Already, more than 2,000 older people are supported to manage their needs in a care home.
‘Like everything else, Covid-19 has had a profound impact on the care home market, and we will need time to assess its impact.
‘It’s therefore important we take a fresh look at our plans to ensure they address the ongoing challenges from the pandemic. We have to ensure the care home market remains sustainable, so people can access good quality, affordable care when they need it,’ added Cllr McMahon.
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