Local drop-in sessions as part of residential care consultation

Written by on 10th January 2023

Public consultation events have been organised in Church Village, Mountain Ash and Ferndale this month, presenting an opportunity for the public to find out more about proposals to invest in residential care services. 

The sessions will focus on a preferred option to invest in four brand new, state-of-the-art care accommodation – which would provide extra care and residential dementia care in Treorchy, Ferndale and Mountain Ash, and care for those with learning disabilities in adulthood in Church Village. Five Council care homes would be retained under this option, with four homes being de-commissioned. The preferred option is outlined at the bottom of this article.

An ongoing consultation, up until January 27, presents an opportunity for residents that may be affected by the proposals to have their say – along with their families, carers and advocates, and staff members. The public can find out more and complete an online survey on a dedicated consultation page.

The Council has now confirmed the three public drop-in sessions, at:

  • Garth Olwg Lifelong Learning Centre (The Parade, Church Village) – Monday, January 16 (5pm-7pm)
  • Ferndale Community Hub (North Road, Ferndale) – Wednesday, January 18 (5pm-7pm)
  • Canolfan Pennar Community Hub (Oxford Street, Mountain Ash) – Tuesday, January 24 (5pm-7pm)

Members of the public are welcome to attend any one of the events, where they will be able to speak to officers about the proposals, and formally have their say in the consultation. No prior booking is required to attend an event.

The proposals were brought forward as part of the Council’s commitment to modernise adult care provision, responding to changing expectations and an ageing population. A £50m investment plan to provide 300 extra care beds in Rhondda Cynon Taf was agreed by the Council in 2017 – and 100 new beds have since been created at new extra care housing in Aberaman and Graig.

If agreed, the proposals would deliver a further £60m investment in care provision focusing on preventative services, well-being and future needs.

Throughout the consultation, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is providing an information booklet, survey, Frequently Asked Questions and easy read documents to all residents living in the care homes affected by the proposals. There will be meetings with residents and their families, with advocacy support available where needed.

The process also includes internal consultation meetings with staff members of the care homes which would be affected if the proposals are agreed.

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

“The public drop-in sessions in January have been arranged for the public to have their say on proposals to modernise local residential care provision. The preferred option would make a further additional investment of around £60m in new care accommodation, and the public sessions are part of a wider ongoing consultation which ends on January 27.

“Everyone is welcome to attend one of the three events in Church Village, Ferndale or Mountain Ash, with a large focus placed on the four care homes proposed to be decommissioned within the proposals. Members of the public will be able to speak directly with officers to put forward any queries. It is also important to note that these public meetings are separate to ongoing internal meetings with residents, families and advocates, and staff members.

“The proposals would provide four new state-of-the-art care accommodation across the County Borough – widening the options for those who need care and support, and increasing older people’s health and independence for generations to come. Officers have made it clear that doing nothing across our residential care provision is not an option, in light of the continued increase in surplus beds in care homes and older people’s changing needs.

“I would urge all interested residents to attend one of the public meetings, or continue to contribute to the wider consultation via a survey on the Council’s website. All of the feedback that we receive will be presented to Cabinet Members, to inform their final decision on the proposals at a future meeting.”

The preferred option that Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is now consulting on includes:

  • Retaining 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.
  • Providing a new accommodation with 40 Extra Care apartments and 20 residential dementia beds in Treorchy – this development would be explored with Linc Cymru and the health board. It would be located on land near Ystrad Fechan Care Home. The care home is temporarily closed with no residents, and would be permanently decommissioned.
  • Providing a new accommodation with 20 Extra Care apartments and 10 residential dementia beds in Ferndale – this development would be explored with Linc Cymru. It would be located on land near the existing Ferndale House Care Home, which would be decommissioned when the new facility is developed.
  • Providing a new accommodation with 25 Extra Care apartments and 15 residential dementia beds in Mountain Ash – this development would be explored with Linc Cymru. It would be located on land near the existing Troedyrhiw Care Home. The home would be decommissioned when the new facility is developed.
  • Remodelled accommodation to provide care for people with learning disabilities in adulthood, in Church Village – this would be achieved by redeveloping Garth Olwg Care Home. The care home would be decommissioned when suitable placements are found for its residents, in a home of their choice which meets their assessed needs.

The Council runs nine residential care homes offering 267 beds, making it one of the largest Local Authority providers in Wales. It has an increasing surplus of beds – with 184 beds vacant as of November 2022, rising from eight vacant beds in 2016. The Council only has 60% of its residential care beds occupied.

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