Trafford Council reveals new blueprint for elderly residents’ homes

SOCIAL services chiefs have this week unveiled their proposals for Trafford’s future residential care provision. And the blueprint shows a major shift in the way the borough plans to look after its elderly residents.

Previous proposals outlined closing the council’s four outmoded homes and replacing them with a £20m-plus home.

But a massive increase in the number of beds available in the private sector has led to a re-think – and now the council does not intend to open a large new facility.

Instead it will develop a phased scheme that involves using three of the four council homes for the next few years and developing a range of alternative services – including a £1m extra care scheme.

Social services director Anne Higgins said: “This is not a big bang approach, it is a more considered planned approach.”

The alternative services would include buying-in dementia care beds from the private sector, giving more support to carers of people with dementia, and developing one of the homes, Ascot House in Sale, as an interim intermediate care unit.

Ascot House and two of the other council homes – Brookside in Altrincham and Katherine Lowe House, Davyhulme – would remain open but their future reviewed again in December 2010, and they would not take in any new residents. The review recognised it is not sustainable to keep the homes – which currently have 80 residents – open long-term.

The other one – Harry Lord House in Old Trafford – is earmarked for closure.

Currently, the council homes provide 153 beds.

Ms Higgins explained the increase in private beds had led to the new strategy. There are 630 private care beds planned in the borough, with 145 of these already available and at least another 100 expected within the next 12 months.