Plans to transfer services at two council-owned care homes into private firms have been delayed.
Councillors voted in favour of proposals to hand over Rhyl’s Hafan Deg day centre to an external provider, while maintaining care and support services at the Grange Road site. Similar plans were also recommended for the Dolwen care home in Denbigh.
But a meeting at County Hall in Ruthin decided to delay a final decision and allow more time to be given to consider both the recommendations and alternative proposals in detail.
Over a thousand people signed a petition against any moves to close Hafan Deg last year, when Denbighshire County Council launched a consultation into the future of four homes across the county – the local authority is looking to save up to £700,000, including over £50,000 at the Rhyl day centre.
The cabinet’s lead member for social care, Councillor Bobby Feeney said: ”People’s expectations about how they want to live their lives as they get older is changing. People rightly want (and demand) control over their own lives and the freedom to choose how to live it. Many people tell us that they don’t want to live in a care home as they would rather stay in their own home with support.”
”We have consulted widely on the proposals, in fact it has been one of the most intense and detailed consultations ever undertaken by the Council. Whilst there was a lot of interest in the consultation and extensive media coverage and social media discussions, we received very few formal responses and very little was submitted in the way of evidence to oppose what has today been agreed.”
”There are a number of issues influencing the need for change. The new Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act places a greater focus on enabling people to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible. There is also local evidence around the falling demand for standard residential care and day services in Denbighshire, with a greater demand for extra care housing, particularly in Ruthin.”
”We recognise that this has been an emotive issue for many, but we firmly believe we are doing the right thing. We will now progress with the agreed options, and we can assure the public that the health and well-being of our residents will continue to remain at the heart of what we do”.
The Cabinet meeting also agreed to consider further the impact on plans for the Awelon care home in Ruthin, where new admissions could be stopped and current residents could be moved elsewhere. A support ‘hub’ has been proposed for Cysgod y Gaer in Corwen, including a local outreach service.