80 'care suites' boost for Ely in £8.4m scheme
- Credit: NHS
Eighty care suites – most of which will be available for those over 65 with complex health or social care needs – could be built at the Princess of Wales hospital, Ely.
The £8.4m scheme would see the county council moving away from traditional institutionalised care to allow residents to improve or maintain their independence.
It will be built as part of the transformation plans announced by the NHS for the hospital.
The suites “are different to traditional care homes in that it is a tenancy model based around self-contained accommodation”, said a county council report.
They will offer larger rooms with their own front door and access to 24-hour care and support through on-site domiciliary and nursing care provision.
“This means tenants can remain in their care suite as their needs increase, until the end of their life,” says the report.
Residents will not have to move on to other services or areas of the building as their needs become more complex.
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Sixteen of the flats will be let out as hospital rehabilitation beds.
The county council says the new hospital site has provided an opportunity for more joined-up health and social care services.
And it will save money as the council expects a potential saving of £580,000 a year.
This will come from separating the housing cost from the cost of care. Housing costs would be charged to the tenants (for self-funders), or to the DWP in the form of housing benefit (for eligible service users).
They would also generate an income through leasing space to the NHS.
A business case is likely to return to the commercial and investment committee of the council later in the year.
Cllr Chris Boden told the committee that “I can see logic behind it”.
But he warned the project must not be allowed to “go ahead at all costs – we have a role in evaluating financial numbers”.
Cllr Linda Jones felt it part of “an ambitious and commendable project by the council”
The committee heard that “action is needed now to manage the increasing cost of care”.
The challenge to the council was to meet its obligations under the Care Act 2014.
“Price and availability may overtake choice and control as determinants in placing an individual,” said the report.