Last week I attended an exhibition by the developers of a proposed Care Home and Extra Care facility next to the Allotments on Grove Road Wantage.
The Care Home will be a 70 bed facility nursing home on three floors.
It is likely that the Care Home would provide some dementia facilities and the top floor will have terraces enabling residents to get out into the fresh air in a safe environment.
The Extra Care facility will be 50 one and two bedroom apartments. These are not simply retirement apartments.
The idea of an extra care facility is that when purchasing the apartment residents will also purchase a care package with care provided by the qualified staff in the Care Home next door.
The developers are aiming to get planning consent this year and to have the first residents moving in to the development in the second half of 2019.
Given all the plans for the NHS in Oxfordshire out for consultation this year, we asked if the developers had been in contact with NHS Oxfordshire and were working with the plans for “Care in the Community” but were told that the NHS would be a statutory consultee as part of the planning application.
So this facility will be a private care home and has no plans to work with the NHS to provide the types of care in the community which will be required as more hospital beds are closed.
According to the Primary Care Framework for Oxfordshire “care homes would be supported by a more comprehensive service including doctors, nurses, pharmacist, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and mental health services.”
We asked if facilities would be available in the new Care Home for rehabilitation services, but were told that people requiring rehabilitation were generally younger and didn’t want to share facilities with the elderly in a care home.
As several of the people that I spoke to at the event said, many of us have elderly relatives who need care that we are unable to provide at home and having care facilities close to home is good, but where are the staff going to come from?
One of the main reasons for staff shortages in the NHS in Oxfordshire is housing prices in our area.
Surely people who build care homes should also have to provide some affordable homes for care workers at the same time?
Couldn’t some of the flats in this development be allocated to staff who would work there?