What are the current arrangements for residential care?

In total, there are 743 residential care home places in Rhondda Cynon Taf, as well as 640 nursing home places. The Council provides 322 residential places across 11 care homes. The external market provides 421 residential places and 640 nursing homes places across 25 residential and care homes.

What are the proposals being put forward?

The Council is consulting on a proposal for the future of its residential care provision. These include retaining seven care homes to focus on complex care (Clydach Court Residential Care Home in Trealaw, Ferndale House Residential Care Home, Pentre House Residential Care Home, Tegfan Residential Care Home in Trecynon. Troedyrhiw Residential Care Home in Mountain Ash, Cae Glas Residential Care Home in Hawthorn and Parc Newydd Residential Care Home, Talbot Green). Four care homes would be de-commissioned under this proposal - Bronllwyn Residential Care Home in Gelli, Ystradfechan Residential Care Home in Treorchy, Dan y Mynydd Residential Care Home in Porth and Garth Olwg Residential Care Home in Church Village.

Why is the Council considering these changes?

The Council is committed to providing the best possible service to those who need it, and Cabinet has previously agreed a £50m investment to develop new Extra Care facilities promoting independence, well-being and choice. The Council strongly believes residents deserve the best care through all stages of their lives, and the consultation is based on high aspirations and tangible results from the Extra Care provided at the moment. It is also important to note that people are living longer, with more life-limiting and complex conditions, and want greater choice in how their care is provided. The Council is therefore committed to developing a wider range of options for supporting people, and in particular those with complex needs, including dementia. The demand for adult social care is increasing, but the demand for residential care is decreasing – as more people receive care in their own homes or in their communities. However, retaining a significant level of in-house residential care home provision would ensure the Council meets its commitment to maintaining an in-house offer in the local residential care market.

Why can’t we keep all of the current care homes?

The current in-house residential offer is based on a traditional model of care, and much of the estate is showing its age. This includes the condition of the buildings and their fundamental design and purpose. The Council has a duty to reflect on its current model now, reflecting on the needs and aspirations of current and future generations. The proposal would deliver better care facilities and offer more choice for the County Borough’s older residents, who increasingly have changing expectations. Officers have made it clear it is not possible for the Council to meet these needs within its current care homes – a key consideration for Cabinet in choosing to further consult on this proposal.

What would happen to current care home residents, if the proposal is agreed?

All residents would be fully-supported throughout this process. The Council’s dedicated assessor would carry out a full assessment and review for each resident, and provide them with accommodation options suitable to their care and support needs. This could be a transfer to Extra Care, or the Council’s provision of complex care.

What about the welfare of care home residents? 

The welfare of residents will always be the primary consideration in the event of any home being de-commissioned and it would be carefully planned and managed over a period of time, and in line with national best practice guidance. This would include the involvement of residents, families, friends and staff from the home. Each resident and their family would be supported by a Social Care Practitioner who would assess individual needs and discuss preferences and help to choose an appropriate alternative service. This would take into account specific issues such as long standing friendships.

How are you going to manage the transition of all the residents, if the proposal is agreed?

The dedicated assessor would work closely with each individual and their families, while carrying out the assessments. Advocates and support workers would be on hand to support the resident and their families through this transition. There is also an Extra Care accommodation panel to ensure the smooth transition.

What if the proposal is agreed, but someone in a care home doesn’t want to move?

There would be independent advocates and support workers on hand to ensure the wishes and views of your relative are paramount in any options presented to each individual. This would take into account specific issues such as long standing friendships. Some Extra Care accommodation allows family members to live together, too.

Would residents be placed locally, should their home close?

We would be looking to strike a balance between providing alternative provision of the right quality and geography. We would work alongside individual residents, families, carers and advocates to bring about the right future care alternative that best suits their needs.

What would happen to residents not suitable for Extra Care?

Those who are not suitable for Extra Care would be given other appropriate accommodation options that can meet their care and support needs. The Council’s preferred option for residential care would see the Council retain provision to care for residents with complex care needs. There is also a strong provision of care from the independent market in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Is this a cost-cutting exercise?

No – in fact, there is a planned £50m investment by the Council in Extra Care over the next 5-10 years to transform and modernise the provision, in order to meet the need for 300 Extra Care beds identified as a requirement in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Are staff being kept up to date with what’s going on?

Please be assured the Council will work very closely with staff, trade unions, carers, care home residents and their families throughout this entire process – from the current consultation through to any potential changes which could be made in the future.

What would happen to staff if any home closes? 

If any decision made affects staff, there would be a separate staff consultation exercise during which the Council’s Management of Change procedure will be followed. The Council’s Human Resources department would work closely with the Service and Trade Unions in order to support staff through the changes at the appropriate time. It is important to note that these proposals to not include any plans for compulsory redundancies for staff.

Who will run the new Extra Care facilities?

Three of the new Extra Care facilities will be managed by the Council’s current experienced workforce, alongside the retained care homes which would focus on complex care. The feedback received from members of the public – during the initial consultation which ran from January-April 2019 – suggested residents want the Council to continue to lead in delivering residential care, and provide an improved range of services for complex needs.

Why are you not currently taking in new residents into the care homes?

The restriction on placements to our homes was put in place in place in order to minimise any potential impact on residents until such time as Cabinet considers the results of the proposed consultation exercise and any decision(s) it may take in relation to the proposal.

Has the decision already been made?

No decision has yet been made on any part of the option put forward for consideration. The Council has started a further extensive, 12-week consultation with staff, carers, care home residents and their families – along with the wider general public. The feedback received during this process will again be considered in great detail before any future decision is made.

What are your plans for the care home buildings proposed for closure?

The Council has no current plans for any of the care home sites proposed for the option put forward, as no final decision has yet been made on their future.

What is the procedure – what happens next?

Following the public consultation (ending on December 20, 2019), a report will be drafted by Officers outlining the feedback received. Cabinet will consider the feedback at great length before any future decision is made.

How do I have my say in the consultation?

There are a number of ways you can take part – please visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/consultations for more details.

Help us improve - don't include personal or financial information, e.g. your National Insurance number or credit card details.