Decision details

Holcroft House options

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Implemented

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Report of the Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Housing outlining options following consultation.


(i)  To relocate residents to alternative permanent accommodation that is compliant with fire safety requirements and to close Holcroft House as a care home.

(ii)  Subject to the approval of (i) above, to delegate authority to the Executive Director Wellbeing & Housing, following consultation with the Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Housing, to take all further and consequential actions to implement the recommendation.

(iii)  To note that a further report on the future of the property will be brought to Cabinet in due course.


Reasons for the decision:

1.  Holcroft House requires significant building works to make it compliant in respect of the Fire Safety requirements, as well works to remove and replace the asbestos containing ceilings.

2.  The fire safety work was initially planned to take place over a 78-week period with residents moving rooms as sections of the building were worked on.

3.  The vulnerable nature of the residents presents a risk of delays to the work, and therefore significant disruption to residents, if the residents remain in the building.  For example, if a resident’s health deteriorates and they require end of life care work would need to be paused.

4.  The Council has a duty of care for the residents.  There are known risks with moving people with dementia whether that is within their living environment or outside of it.  Moving residents once, under carefully managed circumstances, is the least impactful to them (Appendix 1).  Residing through 78+ weeks of building works, relocating within the building to allow the phased work, the coming and going of strangers and noise will carry the greatest impact and is not a viable or practical option. There is also the risk that additional issues could be discovered, once the work commences, that could impact on the phased approach.

5.  Holcroft House is a dated building that falls below the Care Standards Act 2000 recommended standards which include facilities such as ensuites and a minimum of 10m2 floor space to be provided. The costs would be in excess of £4.5m and would require residents to relocate to alternative premises during the period of works.


Alternative options considered:

1.  Residents to remain in the building and relocate in phases during building works to suit the programming of the work.  This is not recommended as residents cannot reasonably be exposed to this level of risk based on the extensive duration of the building works, the risk associated with the removal of asbestos (even though undertaken under controlled conditions in compliance with the safe working practice for asbestos removal), the risk associated with living in a building undergoing extensive building work;  the risk of an extending timeline due to the vulnerability of our residents and the increased risks to people with dementia in being moved  to accommodate the phasing of the works (even within the same building).  The asbestos is not a risk within current stable conditions.  However, the proposed work would require full removal.

2.  A wider project to implement improvements to Holcroft House that bring it to the Care Standards Act 2000, this would include expanded living space, installation of en-suites, improvements to the infrastructure/IT in addition to the fire safety work.  The cost for this would be prohibitively high and would also require residents to be relocated out of the building long term.  To develop the existing building to current standards required, was estimated to cost £4.50M to £5.25M in 2022, with inflation there is an estimated 15% increase  to £5.17M to £6M.  To demolish the existing building and construct a new build dual registered home is estimated to be within the range of £16.0M to £16.75M.

3.  Complete fire safety works and move residents back into Holcroft House.  There are additional risks in a secondary move for people with dementia and this is what we are trying to negate.  There could be potential delays with completion of works which would delay relocation back to Holcroft House.  Residents will settle into new accommodation and then have to move again. The property would still not meet the standards.


Report author: Vernon Nosal

Publication date: 19/09/2023

Date of decision: 19/09/2023

Decided at meeting: 19/09/2023 - Cabinet

Effective from: 28/09/2023

This decision has been called in by:

Accompanying Documents: