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Care Homes in Gloucestershire… Why Are They Closing?

Care Homes in Gloucestershire… Why Are They Closing?

The Gloucestershire County Council has been deliberating over the closure of four state-run care homes across the county. There are a number of reasons why this decision is being considered, as well as some pushback from councillors and residents. 

In this post we will take a look at why these four care homes are being shut down, as well as the effects this will have on residents and private care providers. Keep reading to find out more about Gloucestershire care homes and the changes they are facing.

What has caused the council to make this decision?

Since this decision affects a lot of vulnerable people, it has been considered very carefully, with a number of factors being taken into account. Surveys have also been carried out in communities to ascertain how this will affect the county, so we have some clear information on the causes.

The first reason given for the closing of Gloucestershire care homes is that after the Coronavirus pandemic, 99% of residents say that they would rather choose to be cared for in their own homes. Live-in care is therefore rising in popularity, while care homes are becoming emptier and less popular. This trend is understandable, as the elderly are often attached to the homes that they have lived in for long periods of time. In addition to this, interacting closely with others is now seen as a sort of danger for the elderly, as they are more at risk of the virus.

Another reason given for this proposal is that demand for places in care homes across the county has been steadily decreasing over the last five years. There is therefore concern that the care homes will become increasingly empty, resulting in wasted state resources.

Council has also stated that this move is in line with their intentions to reshape the social care sector within the county. While these plans are not yet fully known or implemented, we know that Gloucestershire’s independent health and care market will be influenced, which we will discuss more below.

How was the decision to close Gloucestershire care homes received?

Since many residents heard of the proposal for the first time during the initial meetings (the same time the proposal was published) there was a lot of initial confusion and concern around the proposal. Many have taken a lot of time and care to choose a comfortable, friendly care home for their loved ones. So these spaces closing will have difficult repercussions on the residents of these care homes, as well as on their families.

A senior Lib-Dem councillor, Jeremy Hilton, also has serious concerns about the proposed closures. Since the proposal caused distress amongst residents, Hilton called for a more explicit expression of the plans, with a comprehensive report to display their findings.

A council spokesperson also stated that “The proposals were put forward following a period of engagement with Gloucestershire’s independent care market at the end of 2021 to help ensure the changing and more complex needs of residents can be met”. It is therefore clear that these decisions have been made with private care homes and solutions in mind.

What knock-on effect will this decision have on private care solutions?

The four nursing homes in Gloucestershire that are being closed down are Orchard House, Westbury Court, Bohanam House and The Elms. The towns that these care homes are located in are Bishop’s Cleeve, Westbury-on-Severn, Gloucester and Stonehouse, respectively.

Shutting down these care homes will have differing repercussions, as some towns offer excellent alternatives, while others do not. For example, the elderly can rely on individualised, expert care in Gloucester, as Four Oaks offer live-in care in this city. The residents in the other towns, however, will have to send their loved ones further away, find alternatives, or will be required to care for them themselves. Which, in our modern world, can be very tricky, as space, time and financial constraints are increasingly felt across the UK.

Private care homes and alternative solutions will likely see an increase in demand, as many households cannot care for their elderly themselves. In addition to this, many individuals require more intensive, expert care. With the closing of state-owned care homes, privately owned businesses that can offer this level of care will be more sought after.

Final thoughts on Gloucestershire care homes

When state-owned care solutions close, there is sure to be concern from residents. Particularly when these care solutions benefit the most vulnerable in our communities. Fortunately, there are a number of privately owned options available. 

While these alternative options may result in an increased financial burden, there are certainly upsides to this change. After all, 99% of people would prefer to continue to live in their own homes. Live-in care is therefore ideal, as it offers the best of both, with specialist care offered in a patient’s home. Comfort and care go hand in hand, so this solution actually offers greater benefits than many traditional care homes, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

If you would like to know more about our care options or are interested in live-in care, contact us today. We are always happy to help you find the ideal option for you and your loved ones.

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