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Highland Life / News / Highland Council News / Council confirms decision not to go ahead with care home replacements

Council confirms decision not to go ahead with care home replacements

Issued: 30 Jun 2010

The Highland Council confirmed that it will not be proceeding with plans to build five new care homes - at Fort William, Grantown, Inverness, Muir of Ord and Tain.

After a lengthy debate and vote, it was agreed that, given the extreme financial constraints, the estimated investment of £30 million in the new homes did not represent best value at this time.

In a vote that was won by 52 votes to 25 votes, Councillor Margaret Davidson, Chairman of Housing and Social Work, said the Council will care for older people in the localities and will action alternative proposals which could include:

* Joint developments with NHS Highland - in Lochaber with the changes to the Belhaven Ward to establish step down facilities from the Belford.
* Extra care sheltered housing for the elderly;
* Improved Day care provision;
* Refurbishment of bedrooms in Invernevis

The Council will also develop a new quality assurance scheme for independent sector care placements.

It further agreed that £5 million should be allocated in its 5-year capital programme for improvements to care homes.

Council Leader Councillor Michael Foxley said that: "There will be no change in the operation of Invernevis Residential Home as a result of the decision not to go ahead with the new building. Residents will remain where they are. A detailed assessment will be made of care needs in this area and reports presented to the Housing and Social Work Committee at a later date on the above options. The aim of the Council is to provide the best possible service for older people."

Councillor Davidson added: "Given the dire budget restraints facing the Council, we have no option but to set aside the intention to build five new homes. I can assure the public our commitment is to provide the best care available, and that includes residential care. While we know that older people wish to stay in their own homes for as long as possible, we also know that some will wish to be looked after in residential care at some point in their lives."

She underlined the Council's commitment to care homes, highlighting the £5.5 million already invested in upgrading nine of the Council's rural care homes and the further £5 million allocated to upgrading care homes over the next five years.

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme