Cornwall Council is currently looking at a number of sites on which it could build ‘technology-assisted’ extra care housing as part of its ‘Delivering Better Care’ programme.
According to the council, the‘Delivering Better Care’ programme includes actions that contribute towards what the council calls one of its key priorities: “that everyone in Cornwall can ‘start well, live well and age well in vibrant, safe and supportive communities.”
The programme also includes the recent investment of £45m in Cornwall Council’s budget for 2022/23 for Adult Social Care services.
Cllr Andy Virr, Cabinet member for adult care and support said: “The current system is under immense pressure, and we need to find a different approach: one that recognises what people can do, rather than what they can’t do.
“We’re looking at a number of sites within the county to build residential blocks that are specially designed for the elderly and will be technology-assisted.
“They’ll have things like nurses and carers within the plot and will allow someone to have more independence than they would with assisted living and will be an alternative to going to a residential home.
“The great thing about that is that it’ll be much cheaper for them than paying for residential or nursing care and will also help free up property in the county for our housing situation as well, so it’s potentially a win-win.
“We’re working with a national home-builder on various sites and they’re being progressed at the moment.”
Cornwall Council has yet to announce which sites it is looking at for these developments.
Cllr Virr continued: “There are a number of sites we’re looking at around the county and we’re in the process of drawing up proposals for planning and business cases to do that.
“Principally, we’re looking at Cornwall Council land, so car parks that are not being used and other Cornwall Council land that we can then offer up, working in partnership with a building and care provider to build extra housing as an alternative to residential care.
“They’ll all be purpose built and technology enabled and on-site will have carers that can give support.
The plans come at a time in which three care homes across Cornwall are set to close and the county is seeing increased demand for adult social care.
“It wasn’t our plan for these homes to close, and Cornwall Council doesn’t have direct control over these homes, they’re independent businesses.
“We’re working with residents and their families around where people may need alternative placement, but the two things are not linked, we have no plans to be closing care homes.
“We’re certainly going to need more dementia care provision going forward and we’ll need to see more care home provision, but the two are not linked.
“It’s very bad timing to have this issue with care home closures right at the time where we’re in such crisis, but unfortunately those are the events that have happened.”