Author: Age NI
Published on 07 March 2014 03:30 PM
Age NI has responded to the Health & Social Care Board Consultation on the future of statutory residential care homes.
Age NI has unapologetically called for the voice and experience of older people to be central and at the heart of any changes and nowhere is this more important than in the closure of statutory residential care homes.
Northern Ireland, like the rest of the UK is experiencing demographic shifts in terms of ageing and life expectancy. Older people’s reliance on a range of services, including health and social care, to maintain their independence will become paramount no matter where they live within the UK.
Age NI welcomes the opportunity to respond to Making Choices: Meeting the current and future accommodation needs of older people. TYC is relevant to our call for a fundamental review of social care. Age NI believes that social care is broken and it is now time for reform.
Age NI Recommendations
Age NI has made a number of recommendations throughout our response and these are summarised below:
It is important that good practice in respect of care transitions will be followed and that equality and equality and human rights frameworks must underpin this process at all stages. In addition, residents of statutory residential care homes must have ‘protected rights’ until the end of their days.
Availability and Accessibility of Alternative Services
Assessment of alternative provision must be quality assured and alternatives must be in place. Mechanisms must be established to ensure financial viability of the alternative provision.
Quality of Care
More work is required to establish robust measures for this criteria. This may require a bespoke exercise by the HSCB/HSC Trusts to measure personalisation that is embedded within the care setting – both for the current care home and the alternative care setting and post transfer assessments must be undertaken at various times
Mechanisms are established to capture unmet need and other issues need to be factored in such as fuel poverty, deprivation etc. An analysis of changing expectations should be undertaken as well as regional variations
Best use of Public Money
A range of factors need to be taken into account to determine best value for money and those homes not selected for closure must be brought up to minimum standards.