On Monday 16 June 2014 Devon County Council cabinet members took the decision to approve the recommendations relating to Devon County Council’s role as a provider of day care services and the proposals relating to individual care homes following a brief consultation period. This will now result in 20 Devon County Council care homes closing within the next 18 months.

On Monday 16 June 2014 Devon County Council cabinet members took the decision to approve the recommendations relating to Devon County Council’s role as a provider of day care services and the proposals relating to individual care homes following a brief consultation period. This will now result in 20 Devon County Council care homes closing within the next 18 months.

The 262 residents currently living in these 20 homes will be either moved to a new home in the private sector or they could be returned to live in the community albeit with, presumably, a care package in place
On Monday 16 June 2014 Devon County Council cabinet members took the decision to approve the recommendations relating to Devon County Council’s role as a provider of day care services and the proposals relating to individual care homes following a brief consultation period. This will now result in 20 Devon County Council care homes closing within the next 18 monthOn Monday 16 June 2014 Devon County Council cabinet members took the decision to approve the recommendations relating to Devon County Council’s role as a provider of day care services and the proposals relating to individual care homes following a brief consultation period. This will now result in 20 Devon County Council care homes closing within the next 18 monthsOn Monday 16 June 2014 Devon County Council cabinet members took the decision to approve the recommendations relating to Devon County Council’s role as a provider of day care services and the proposals relating to individual care homes following a brief consultation period. This will now result in 20 Devon County Council care homes closing within the next 18 months.

The 262 residents currently living in these 20 homes will be either moved to a new home in the private sector or they could be returned to live in the community albeit with, presumably, a care package in place.

In the Record of Decision, taken by cabinet members dated 16 June 2014, the summary of alternatives or options considered states that an alternative considered was that eligibility threshold for care services could be increased. This is something that could and should not have been considered as eligibility for care services is set by Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) 2010 and Prioritising Eligibility for Care and Support with the criteria of Low, Moderate, Substantial and Critical. Local Authorities in this period of austerity only now meet the needs of people assessed as having Substantial or Critical needs in accordance with the criteria.

The 262 residents currently living in these 20 homes will be either moved to a new home in the private sector or they could be returned to live in the community albeit with, presumably, a care package in place.

There have been recent court cases where local authorities have attempted to reduce the level of need that they will meet to Critical only and the Courts have held that this is unlawful and people with Substantial or Critical needs must be eligible for services.

The decision of the cabinet members states that having completed analysis with NHS partners, and that whilst there are some geographic areas where there is more challenge than others, overall there is sufficient market capacity to meet demand now and in the future.

I would query whether this is based on current availability and at the Local Authority’s “usual cost” of £426 per week or £455 enhanced residential care fee.

If private sector homes are to take this substantial influx of residents over a fairly short period of 18 months are residents going to be able to secure a place at a home that best meets their assessed need – I have my doubts.