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Paper 4B -  29 November 2002 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

29 November 2002

NURSING CARE INVESTMENT STRATEGY FOR HAMPSHIRE

Report by the Director of Property, Business and Regulatory Services,

Hampshire County Council

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RECOMMENDATIONS

That the members of HIOW note:

(1) The opportunity to achieve major improvements in the provision of nursing care accommodation in Hampshire;

(2) The progress made by the County Council and Strategic Health Authority in securing funding for immediate investment in new nursing care accommodation; and

(3) The benefits to the people of Hampshire resulting from the early development of the additional care accommodation in view of pressing problems of delayed release (bed blocking) from acute care hospital bed spaces and to identify a senior member of staff in each District or Borough Council to act as the principal point of contact to work with the project team to bring forward detailed proposals and secure the necessary planning consents required to successfully deliver the proposed nursing care accommodation to the agreed programme.
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BACKGROUND

1. Hampshire County Council and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Strategic Health Authority are working together to create up to 500 additional nursing care beds across Hampshire. This partnership will involve the County Council operating new care facilities to be built mostly on County Council land attached to its residential homes with others to be sited on Health Trust land.

2. These partnership proposals were submitted to central government in May 2002 and are unlike submissions made by other local authorities which relied on the use of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) for their delivery. The Hampshire approach was recognised as offering the major benefit of delivering the nursing care accommodation considerably faster than through the PFI procedures and of the availability of complementary residential care on the County Council`s sites.

3. The estimated capital cost of the project is in the region of 60m. The Minister of Health has recently announced that two thirds of this funding will be made available from the Department of Health and the Strategic Health Authority with the County Council expecting to secure a further 20m through supported credit approvals.

4. The nursing care will be provided by the County Council at an estimated cost of 13m per annum.

5. The successful delivery of this additional nursing care accommodation is important to Hampshire due to:

the falling number of nursing home beds in the county through home closures;

the growing demand for a more intensive level of care required for an increasingly ageing and dependent population;

the need to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions; and

to enable people to move from hospital earlier into nursing care, thus freeing-up acute care hospital beds and reducing waiting times.

It should be noted that 10% of the nursing care beds in Hampshire have been lost in the last three years.

6. Initial feasibility studies have been carried out on various sites across Hampshire but no decisions have yet been made and these will be affected by the outcome of further studies and consultations on the suitability and deliverability of individual sites. These would either be attached to existing County Council residential care homes or NHS/Health Trust sites.

7. An important factor in the selection of the definitive list of sites will be the prospect of securing early planning consents within the framework of the existing Local Plans in order to meet the overall project programme.

CONSULTATIONS

8. The County Council and Strategic Health Authority intend to consult with the District and Borough Councils and other stakeholders in order that suitable schemes may be progressed without delay. Therefore, it will be helpful if each District and Borough Council nominates an appropriate senior officer who would be able to provide the principal point of contact with the project teams as the detailed proposals are prepared and applications for planning consent and other approvals are submitted.

ANDREW SMITH
Director of Property, Business and Regulatory Services, Hampshire County Council

Date: 8 November 2002
Annex: 0
Contact: Ian Parker (tel: 01962 847269, email: ian.parker@hants.gov.uk)

Last update: 20/11/2002
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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