After almost two years of debate plans to close the Florence Shipley nursing home have been finalised by Derbyshire County Council.
The decision follows a 12-week public consultation by the authority as to whether to keep the aging nursing facility for 23 elderly residents open.
It will now be replaced by a £10million 32-bed ‘super care centre’, which the council says will combine ‘a wide range of services under one roof,’ similar to its home in Staveley.
Tory cabinet member for adult care Cllr Charles Jones said: “The decision by cabinet is a big step forward for our plans to transform the way we care and support older people across the county, making it fit for the future.
“However, we understand this is an anxious time for residents of Florence Shipley and their relatives and we will be speaking to them all to discuss the future. We will do all we can to make their move to new accommodation as smooth as possible and all of the long-term residents have a guaranteed place in the new specialist community care centre if this is what they want.”
The Market Place home is expected to close within the next six months and building of new facilities on the same site is predicted to last two years.
The council says it is to work with the 23 residents there individually to discuss their future plans, including where they will stay during the building of the new centre.
Amber Valley borough councillor for the Heanor area and Labour group leader Paul Jones is for the scheme, but has concerns about residents’ welfare during the ‘transition’. He says reassurances need to be given to families that their loved ones will be rehomed close-by.
He added: “At that age group, people like familiarity – it can be traumatic moving to a different environment.
“As long as we can minimise that, I think the concept of the scheme is really good.”
The new specialist centre is to be built on the same site and is to feature 16 long-term care beds and 16 short-term beds.
It will offer day care facilities such as chair-based exercise classes and themed sessions for people with dementia.
It also plans to act as a hub for advice, including a ‘health and wellbeing zone’ offering information on health, diet, fitness and finance.
Support and advice will also be available to carers under the new plans.
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