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Column 3rd March 2021

Care home facilities reduced from the planned levels

A couple of weeks ago, there was an article in the Herald which suggested that up to 100 new jobs will be created with the opening of a 'luxury' care facility (Elmbrook Court care home on Grove Road, Wantage).

Then shortly after that a planning application was submitted for a “minor material amendment” to the plans for this care home.

Since the original planning consent was granted Oakland Wantage Care Homes have acquired the site.

Planning permission was originally granted for a 65-bedroom care home and 50 apartment extra care facility.

This application seeks consent for internal alterations to the care home which increase the number of bedrooms by 9.

This takes the total number of bedrooms from 65 to 74.

The changes include:  

- Ground Floor – an office and store are considered unnecessary and replaced with one bedroom;

- First Floor – two additional bedrooms in place of one of the day spaces, leaving four communal areas, also one additional bedroom replacing a tank room; and

- Second Floor – four additional bedrooms in the place of two day spaces leaving two communal areas, and one bedroom in place of the office.

So, from being a “luxury” care facility with lots of communal space, this may be more of a care home with “normal” facilities.

The original plans suggested that there would be 11 care staff on the day shift and eight on the night shift and the new plans don’t change this even with an almost 15 percent increase in residents.

The number of car parking spaces remains unchanged, i.e. 25 including 2 disabled spaces and proposed daytime staffing levels are 11 care staff and 13 other staff so if everyone drives to work there will only be one space for others to use.

There are no standards for the number of care staff required in a care home but it depends on the level of dependency of the residents; higher dependency residents will require more staff time.

The accepted average level of time per “medium dependency” resident is about 3 hours per day but this is only for physical needs and doesn’t consider the important person centric approach.

If residents require more help or stimulation, then more staff will be required.

Activities that will improve people’s physical mobility, emotional and mental wellbeing all take additional staff and if there are 9 more residents and no increase in staff this could be one area which suffers.


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