Four brand new residential care accommodation agreed by Cabinet

Written by on 1st March 2023

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet has agreed a major investment in four state-of-the-art care accommodation to modernise residential care services and meet people’s changing needs. An amendment to the proposals consulted upon will increase the capacity of the new development in Ferndale.

On Tuesday, February 28, Cabinet Members considered options that include a projected £60m capital investment in four new accommodations in Treorchy, Ferndale, Mountain Ash and Church Village, as well as retaining five Council care homes. The following five options were agreed and will be progressed:

  • Option 1 – retain the current service provision at five current Council care homes – Clydach Court in Trealaw, Pentre House, Tegfan in Trecynon, Cae Glas in Hawthorn and Parc Newydd in Talbot Green.
  • Option 2 – provide a new accommodation with 40 extra care apartments and 20 residential dementia beds in Treorchy, explored with Linc Cymru and the health board. It will be located on land near Ystrad Fechan Care Home. The care home is temporarily closed with no residents, and would be permanently decommissioned.
  • Option 3 – provide a new accommodation with 25 extra care apartments and 15 residential dementia beds in Ferndale, explored with Linc Cymru. It will be located on land near the existing Ferndale House Care Home, which will be decommissioned when the new facility is developed. Cabinet increased the scheme by an additional five extra care apartments (to 25) and five residential dementia beds (to 15).
  • Option 4 – provide a new accommodation with 25 extra care apartments and 15 residential dementia beds in Mountain Ash, explored with Linc Cymru. It will be located on land near Troedyrhiw Care Home, which will be decommissioned when the new facility is developed.
  • Option 5 – remodel the accommodation to provide care for people with learning disabilities in adulthood, in Church Village. This will be achieved by redeveloping the existing Garth Olwg Care Home. The care home will be decommissioned when suitable placements are found for its residents, in a home of their choice which meets their assessed needs.

The proposals are part of the Council’s commitment to improve adult care provision and respond to changing expectations. People are now living at home for longer and entering care homes later in life with more complex needs. The current provision is unable to meet the need for dementia and respite care, while demand for ‘traditional’ care homes has consistently decreased.

Cabinet’s decision on Tuesday was informed by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee which considered the proposals on February 27, and feedback in an extensive consultation with care home residents, their families, advocates, staff, and the wider public (from December 12, 2022, to January 27, 2023).

Councillor Gareth Caple, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said:

“Cabinet has agreed a major investment in residential care, which will invest £60m in four new care accommodations in Treorchy, Ferndale, Mountain Ash and Church Village. We know people’s needs are changing from ‘traditional’ care homes to more complex care, and this investment will help us adapt our provision for generations to come.

“The investment will help us replace older buildings, with more appropriate accommodation with modern facilities that would be better for residents to live in. We have seen how valued the fantastic new extra care schemes are in Aberaman and Graig – for the around-the-clock support they give for people’s assessed needs, the independence they offer their residents, the sense of community they have created, and the modern environments they provide.

“The investment options were informed by extensive engagement in recent years, where we listened to people’s views on the current care provision and their future expectations. Care home residents, families, staff, and the public then had their say on the specific proposals in a further recent consultation.

“I’m pleased there was broad support for the care accommodation proposals, recognising the multi-million pound investments for each community in modern, fit-for-purpose facilities.

“It must be noted that the skills and dedication of staff at the home are clearly appreciated by residents. Supporting our staff is also of the utmost importance, and these plans do not involve any compulsory redundancies. I’d like to thank our staff once again for their first-class commitment to their roles.

“Cabinet has now agreed the proposals, and officers will carefully progress their implementation. It is fantastic that we are able to invest in four brand new facilities despite the financial challenges faced across Local Government at this time. It shows our commitment to prioritise residential care as a key area of investment for the benefit of older people, both now and into the future.”

Following Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Cabinet’s decision to approve a proposal to close Garth Olwg Care Home, Heledd Fychan, Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd for South Wales Central has expressed her disappointment on behalf of the residents and staff of the home.

Responding to the decision, Ms Fychan said:

“It is disgraceful that the Council has decided to proceed with the closure of Garth Olwg Care Home, despite the opposition of the residents of the home, the local community and Care Inspectorate Wales.

“Once again, this is an example of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Labour Cabinet ignoring the opinions of residents and experts, and reducing the number of places available in care homes despite an increase in demand.

“Many will ask what is the purpose of consultation if the Council is not willing to listen to the opinion of anyone other than themselves? This is a wrong move on the part of the Council, which will adversely affect an essential service in the community”

Ioan Bellin, a local campaigner in Church Village who opposed the closure of the Home, added: 

“Many people in Church Village will be disappointed with this decision by the Labour Party. There is pride in the community that Garth Olwg has been a center for excellent residential care for older people for so long, and they feel bitter that this care will end.

“People will have numerous questions to ask local Labour Councilors, who were elected last year on the basis that they had protected the future of the Care Home. They will have to justify their empty promises to the electorate in the next election, and work hard between now and then to restore the trust of the community.”

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