Council Ends Care Home Procurement
The Highland Council today (Thursday) confirmed a motion presented by the Independent/SNP Administration to end the commissioning of five new care homes from the independent sector and instead agreed to build and run the five new care homes itself. This is part of wider set of proposals to increase investment in care for the elderly, which will include an extra 600 new houses suitable for older people in the Highlands and an increase in the Council’s home care budget by 50% over the next four years.
Councillor Margaret Davidson, Chairman of the Housing and Social Work Committee, said: “I am very pleased that Council has agreed that we progress these plans. The five care homes and the additional home care will be a priority – in fact care for our older people will be a priority with this Administration.”
On behalf of the Administration, Councillor Davidson and her Vice-Chairman, Councillor Liz MacDonald, successfully proposed the following motion: -
(a) the Council does not proceed to the next stage of the Care Homes procurement exercise and formally closes the procurement;
(b) the Council will instead build and operate five new Care Homes;
( c ) the additional cost of building and operating these Care Homes should be considered as a corporate pressure in the Council’s budget setting and met from efficiency savings and should not be met from additional Council Tax or by reviewing the Capital Programme;
(d) the Council should engage in discussions with NHS Highland on how best to provide nursing care in Council run Care Homes to meet the needs of increasingly frail older people;
(e) the Council will consult with residents, their families, staff and stakeholders on the detail of the proposed Care Homes and will keep them fully informed of progress as the programme proceeds; and
(f) the Council welcomes the Administration’s commitment to ensure the provision of 600 new houses suitable for older people and a £4 million boost for home care services over the next four years as part of a radical overhaul of community care policies which will aim to allow more older people to remain in their own homes.
The Council will build five care homes between 2008-9 and 2012-13 in Inverness, Grantown, Fort William, Muir of Ord and Tain, replacing 6 existing care homes which do not meet fire regulations, disability legislation and Care Commission standards.
The estimated capital cost of the five care homes is £21.5 million. The Council will use its borrowing powers to fund this and will pay loans charges of £1.5 million per year for 30 years when the homes are built.
An increasing number of residents of care homes need nursing care. The new homes will be built and staffed to provide this. It is estimated that there will be an additional staffing cost of up to £700,000 per year to deliver nursing care.
The Council currently spends £8 million per year on home care. The proposals will increase that to £12 million by 2011-12.