Progress Reported to Care Home Sub-Committee

The Highland Council’s Care Home Sub-Committee has been advised of the positive progress being made in pursuing the Council’s decision to modernise care for older people, which includes seeking interest from the independent care sector to provide modern care homes in Inverness, Tain, Muir of Ord, Fort William and Grantown.

Meeting in Inverness, the Sub-Committee agreed that June 2007 be set as the revised target date for agreeing a preferred bidder to meet the complexities of the tender process.  The target date for work to start on the five projects is January 2008, with work expected to take a minimum of 18 months to complete.

The Sub-Committee agreed to publish an information leaflet to advise the public of the Council’s far reaching strategy for modernising care for older people, which includes enhanced day and home care and new care housing for older people to allow them to stay longer in their home communities.

The Council will invite NHS Highland to feature in the leaflet to highlight the integrated approach being followed and produce area editions of the leaflet to focus on local issues.

Members also agreed to give arms-length assistance to any group which wishes to investigate forming a community company to attract funding to build and operate the homes to be tendered. This assistance is available via Highland Opportunity Ltd, the enterprise trust for the Highlands.  The Council could not get directly involved in running any proposed new company but through Highland Opportunity Limited could offer advice as to how the company could be formed and where funds might be accessed. It was stressed that any community company would require to compete alongside the independent sector to run a home or homes.

The Sub-Committee was also advised that an approach to the Scottish Executive for extra funding to upgrade/replace existing care homes had been rejected.

Housing spokesperson, Councillor Sheena Slimon, said she had spoken to Scottish Finance Minister Tom McCabe, who had congratulated the Council on the approach it was following but had confirmed that no further funding from the Executive was available.

The Convener, Councillor Alison Magee, reported that Mr McCabe had responded to her written approach to him confirming that no additional funds were available centrally.

At its meeting on 4 May, the Council agreed to invite independent care home providers to present proposals for providing 168 care home places as follows: -
• 44 care places in Inverness, currently provided at Burnside and Ach-an-Eas;
• 32 care places in Tain, currently provided at Duthac House;
• 32 places in Muir of Ord, currently provided at Urray House;
• 30 places in Fort William currently provided at Invernevis House; and
• 30 places in Grantown, currently provided at Grant House, Grantown, and the Wade Centre, Kingussie.


21 Aug 2006