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Portsmouth City Council's bold new vision for adult social care in the city

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Portsmouth City Council 2016Portsmouth City Council has announced a bold new vision to deliver the care facilities the city needs.

Plans are being put forward to create new accommodation and support people with more complex needs in their own communities.

The new facilities would replace older care homes that are not flexible enough to meet the needs the city currently faces.

A range of accommodation is required in Portsmouth, but there are currently limited solutions in the city.

Specifically there is a lack of affordable, good quality extra care accommodation for people with dementia and/or physical disabilities, and the council is looking to start to bridge this gap by developing a specific dementia extra care facility.

This will shape the options people currently have in Portsmouth, by increasing choices for care needs to be met in an environment where people can maintain their independence with care on site.

To enable this to happen the council is proposing to close both Edinburgh House and Hilsea Lodge in October 2019 and October 2020 respectively, and subsequently build new, better and more sustainable accommodation.

Current proposals for the Edinburgh House site would see 50 new homes created for people living with dementia, which is more than the current home's capacity. The cost of this would be in the region of £9.75m, and the work is likely to take between 2-3 years. Plans for Hilsea Lodge are still being developed.

Angela Dryer, Portsmouth City Council's deputy director of adult social care, said: "Currently we do not have the facilities the city requires to provide the best level of care for people with dementia or physical disabilities.
Edinburgh House and Hilsea Lodge have served us well but both homes are under-occupied and there is a much lower demand for this kind of accommodation. We have assessed the need for care in the city and using these sites to create new homes is the best way forward. The dementia care facility is a fantastic way to start this process and I hope these plans are approved."

This will be an option for people with dementia to access supported living and will build on the supported living opportunities that are already available in Portsmouth, offering accommodation in four locations around the city.

The proposals would provide an alternative for people with dementia in the future, and allow them to maintain independence and dignity in their own homes.

Portsmouth does not currently have an extra care dementia offer. Assessments of a number of individuals currently using council-run accommodation showed that while they were unable to manage in their own at home, they did not need 24 hour residential care.

Building an extra care facility for people with dementia will enable people to live in a supported environment, with skilled and trained staff available on site to support them 24 hours a day.

Independent data from Which shows that Portsmouth has more projected elderly care beds than it will need in the next 5 years.

Both Edinburgh House and Hilsea Lodge are limited in the residents that they are able to support due to the physical layout of the units. Better accommodation is required to meet the needs of residents with dementia. If they were to be kept, areas of the buildings would require significant improvement to meet the current standards for residential care. It is therefore not a viable option for these two homes to be kept open in the future.

Additionally, the demand for residential placements for people with dementia has reduced since March 2016, and both Edinburgh House and Hilsea Lodge have seen a reduction in the number of people with dementia seeking residential care.

The council are working closely with staff and residents families to ensure that the process is as clear as possible and that they are receiving the support they need.

If this proposal is approved it is not anticipated that there will be any redundancies, and staff will be redeployed into remaining council-run care services and homes in the city.

A decision on this proposal will be made at 5pm on Tuesday 20 November by the Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care.

Cllr. Winnington, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, said: "Portsmouth is crying out for extra care facilities for those living with dementia and physical difficulties. We want to ensure that we are supporting people to live as independently as possible for as long as possible. To do this we need to ensure that there is good quality extra care accommodation which meets the changing needs of an ageing population.
I look forward to seeing these proposals and making a decision based on the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in our city."

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