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

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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 have been approved to create new accommodation and support people with more complex needs in their own communities.

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

Portsmouth currently has limited accommodation solutions in the city, and this decision will ensure that there is a range of solutions.

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

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 will be closing both Edinburgh House and Hilsea Lodge in October 2019 and October 2020 respectively, and will subsequently build new, better and more sustainable accommodation.

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: "Today's decision is an exciting opportunity to ensure that we are providing the best level of care for people with dementia or physical disabilities.

Our priority is to ensure that resident's family members and staff are supported during this time, and we will be working closely with both to ensure that the care and wellbeing of residents is a priority."

The decision to repurpose these sites is 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 new sites will 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 on 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.

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.

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 repurposing of both sites will include taking some of the funding for the project from the council's capital budget, which invests in a range of infrastructure schemes throughout the city like buildings and facilities, rather than the day-to-day running of council services that have to be paid through a separate revenue budget. The rest of the funding will be secured from external partners such as Homes England.

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.

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.

Cllr. Winnington, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, said: "Today's decision will support some of the most vulnerable people in our city to live as independently as possible for as long as possible. The new accommodation will provide an alternative for people with dementia, and allow them to maintain independence and dignity in their own homes whilst ensuring that their individual needs are met.

We know that we need a range of accommodation in Portsmouth to ensure that facilities are flexible enough to meet the needs in the city, and this decision will bridge this gap and shape the options people currently have in Portsmouth.

This is an opportunity to ensure that accommodation is meeting the needs of an ageing population for now and in the future. "

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