When the consultation was recently announced for the closure of 4 care homes in Kent, including the Dorothy Lucy Care Home in Maidstone, we were informed that the centre was no longer fit for purpose and that the council was working with care providers to find "alternative services".
Given the Care Quality Commission's glowing report of the centre just two years ago, where no concern was raised on the buildings suitability, can the cabinet member please explain which alternative local services have been found by KCC to ensure that residents continue to receive care to the standard observed at the Dorothy Lucy Centre.
I want to thank Mr Clark for his question and for the opportunity to state that the consultation on the future of KCC in house care homes is in no way a reflection of the quality of care that continues to be provided at all of the KCC homes including the Dorothy Lucy Centre. KCC provides a high standard of care to all of our residents and this is reflected in the positive feedback received from residents and their families, as well as the Care Quality Commission.
The building does currently meet all CQC standards. Looking to the future, it is likely that in the medium term without significant capital investment the building would not be able to meet the increasing health and social care needs of Older People. We are already experiencing occasions where we cannot meet some needs due to either additional equipment required or that simply the needs of people cannot be met and have to turn people away.
During the period of the public consultation on the future of the care homes which commenced on 28 September and closes on 20 December 2015, officers are completing a detailed needs analysis to fully understand the needs of Older People who have been using our services.
Selection of the alternative services will need to be managed through a formal procurement exercise and the provider appetite will be detailed in the recommendation report, which will be discussed at the Adult Social Care & Health Cabinet Committee in January prior to taking the key decision.
The recommendation report, that will include the feedback from the public consultation, will be accompanied by an Equality Impact Assessment and I will consider both in taking the decision. My commitment has always been that people will not be left without a service and it is important for officers to fully detail how that will be achieved.