Southampton City Council proposes new way forward on residential care

Council aims to meet the changing social care needs of Southampton residents

Southampton City Council has undertaken extensive work over the last few months to look at how best the council can meet the changing social care needs of Southampton residents, including consulting the public on the future of Glen Lee and Holcroft House residential care homes.

The council’s original preferred option was to close both these homes. This was because demand for residential care is decreasing, as more people want to be supported to live independently in their own homes an communities. There are also a number of other providers who are able to support those people who do need residential care, and a total of 36 care homes in or near the city boundary that are registered to provide dementia care.

However, a new way forward is now being proposed which would see Holcroft House remain open while Glen Lee closes. This will be presented to the Cabinet meeting on 19 February 2019 where a final decision will be made. This proposal has been developed taking into account feedback from the consultation, as well as other work to evaluate a wide range of possible options and models for each home. It is clear from all the work done to date that the social care market for older people is still evolving, and that Southampton City Council still has a role to play in ensuring high quality facilities are available, especially for our most vulnerable residents.

The new proposal recognises that it would not be viable to keep both homes open, especially taking into account the age and condition of Glen Lee. However, retaining Holcroft House will ensure that the council still has a stake in the residential care market and can keep providing quality services to those who needs them, whilst also saving £913,000 per year. As occupancy rates are much lower in Glen Lee than in Holcroft House, it would also minimise the impact on those involved. If the decision is taken by Cabinet to agree this proposal, all the current residents of Glen Lee would have the option to move into Holcroft House, meaning they could continue to receive care and support from council staff in the way they do now. It would also minimise the impact on staff, in line with the council’s commitment to avoid compulsory redundancies wherever possible.

The council will continue to work with partners, residents and other stakeholders across the city to ensure a range of modern, sustainable care and support services are available for those who need them and to develop our long-term strategy for social care in Southampton.

Councillor Lorna Fielker, Cabinet Member for Adult Care said: “Glen Lee has served us well, but whilst the quality of the care by staff is great, the facilities no longer meet modern standards. Our residents tell us that they want to continue living independently at home for as long as possible, or would like to access alternative options like Housing with Care or Shared Lives schemes, rather than go into a residential care home. Our adult care vision for Southampton reflects that.”