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Rhondda Cynon Taf Council propose more cuts to services for older people in RCT ?

Consultation - modernising care for older people in Rhondda Cynon Taf say RCTC

Local residents will be able to have their say on proposals to modernise care for older people in Rhondda Cynon Taf – through a 12-week consultation on future options for both residential and day care services.

In November 2018, Cabinet Members agreed to consult on transformational options for the Local Authority’s care provision – and proposals put forward outlined options to substantially invest in and modernise residential and day care services to better meet the needs of the County Borough’s older residents. The consultation period will begin on Monday, January 14, and run for 12 weeks, ending on April 8.

During this period, the Council will provide information about the proposals to people living in its 11 residential care homes, along with advocacy support where required. The Council will also write to relatives and key stakeholders.

Engagement sessions will take place with staff and residents of each care home, along with staff and users of the Council’s daycare centres at Tonyrefail, Trecynon, Riverside, Ferndale and Bronllwyn.

Members of the public will have access to information about the proposals from January 14, through a dedicated consultation webpage on the Council’s website. The Council will also use its social media accounts to promote the consultation, directing users to the homepage. Here, views and opinions can be conveyed in an online survey, while public ‘drop-in’ events will be held at:

  • Rhondda Sports Centre, Ystrad – March 13, 2019 (2pm to 8pm).
  • Sobell Leisure Centre, Aberdare – March 21, 2019 (2pm to 8pm).
  • Llantrisant Leisure Centre – March 28, 2019 (2pm to 8pm).

At the heart of the proposals is a planned £50m investment in Extra Care across Rhondda Cynon Taf – to build five brand new facilities and increase the total number of Extra Care places to 300 across the County Borough.

Extra Care delivers modern accommodation to allow residents to live as independently as possible in their own homes. They are modern, built-for-purpose buildings, where residents have 24/7 access to targeted support for their assessed needs.

Following an independent review, the following options are being consulted upon:

Residential Care

OPTION 1 – Continue existing arrangements.

OPTION 2 – Phased decommissioning of all Council care homes.

OPTION 3 – The Council retains some of its residential care homes, to focus on complex care. This is the Council’s preferred option.

Day Care

OPTION 1 – Continue existing arrangements.

OPTION 2 – Phased decommissioning of all five-day care centres, introducing a new service model offering universal services and opportunities for older people in Community Hubs, along with day services for assessed care needs and specialist dementia care. This is the Council’s preferred option.

Councillor Geraint Hopkins, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Community Services and Welsh Language, said: “We understand that residential care and day care are very important Council services – and the Council truly believes that modernising care for older people now is the right thing to do, and at the right time.

“Local people will be able to have their say through a number of avenues within the 12-week consultation. Residential and day care users, along with relatives and key stakeholders, will be engaged by the Council internally – while members of the general public will have access to important information, and have the ability to contribute to the process online or in person.

“Our current residential care service has excellent staff and has served the County Borough well for decades, but the current offer is based on a more traditional model of care. Much of the estate is showing its age – not only in the condition of the buildings, but in its fundamental design and purpose.

“The Council has a duty to reflect on this model to meet the changing needs of older generations – and the proposals are based on high aspirations and tangible results from the one Extra Care facility currently available in Rhondda Cynon Taf, at Ty Heulog in Talbot Green. The Council believes Extra Care should be available to more people and the five new facilities, previously agreed by Cabinet, are at the heart of the future options put forward – along with the retention of complex care in the Council’s service delivery.

“With regard to day care, we have seen a large decrease in the number of users at our five centres. In September 2018 an average of just 200 people per day used the service – and this is predicted to further decline. The proposals again seek to utilise Extra Care, and also the Council’s Community Hubs programme, in a new model where the Council’s internal provision focuses on complex care.

“I would urge residents to take part in this extensive 12-week consultation, by finding more information on the consultation webpage, completing the survey and attending one of our community ‘drop in’ events.”

The consultation material will be published on January 14 and will be available to view on the following link: www.rctcbc.gov.uk/consultations.

Posted on Friday 11th January 2019