Leeds care homes shake up plan

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Council residential homes for older people in Leeds could be closed, reorganised or sold as going concerns to the private sector under plans for a radical shake-up of social care in the city.

Day centres for pensioners are also to be reviewed as a council report warns they may not be sustainable in the future because of falling attendances.

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There will be full consultation early in the New Year before detailed proposals are drawn up and decisions taken. Council bosses insist any changes will aim to make the best possible use of council resources and ensure people get the care and services that meet their needs.

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The future of all of the council's 19 residential care homes for older people and 16 day centres will be considered in the review.

The 19 old people's homes account for 628 of the 2,214 residential care beds across the city and cost 20.2m a year to run. Many are over 30-years-old and need essential maintenance and improvement work totalling 7.5m, says a council estimate, while the cost of bringing them up to the standard of new independent care homes is put at 28.7m.

Services tailored to allow older people to stay in their own homes, the provision of new "extra care" housing and an increase in the number of private sector homes are combining to reduce the demand for council-run homes, according to a council report.

Under one option, homes could be retained and reorganised as a specialist care facility for frail older people and those with dementia.

Any earmarked for closure will not shut until suitable alternative arrangements have been made for the residents and some homes could be offered to the independent or voluntary sector as a going concern.

Day centres – where attendance rates are falling as people increasingly use personal budgets to arrange their own day activities – are to be similarly reviewed.

Consultation with residents, their families, staff, councillors and the public will be held over three months starting in January before options are brought forward for each home or centre.

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