Edenham Care Home
Taking difficult decisions is not something that the Council tries to avoid. In the case of the decision to close Edenham Care Home in North Kensington, it followed considerable thought and is aimed at continuing to provide the highest standard of care for elderly people in Kensington and Chelsea.
While some people are clearly concerned about the welfare of the current residents, the Council is convinced that closing Edenham is the right decision, even if it is unpopular.
While the residents of Edenham are clearly happy and well cared for, the ingredients that make a happy home go beyond bricks and mortar and rely far more on the care and dedication of the staff – something the Council is confident is in good supply in all its care homes.
Edenham is 30 years old and fast falling behind the modern standards set by government, as well as the modern expectations of older people and their relatives.
Older people increasingly want to be cared for at home and to have more privacy and en suite facilities, if they do have to go into a home. They also need nursing care, which is not provided at Edenham.
The Council wants to give older people the choice of living in more homely settings, rather than in traditional care homes, by building special housing or smaller care homes for the very vulnerable.
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Last month, North Kensington saw the opening of the third new accommodation scheme for older people in three years, proving that there is no question of reducing the amount of care available for older people in North Kensington.
Council officers are helping Edenham residents and their relatives to choose new homes that are at least as good as their current home, which was built at a time when not even every resident would have had their own bathroom. Today the minimum the Council would be expected to provide is en suite toilet and bathroom facilities.
Whilst this could be done at Edenham, the Council believes the money should instead be invested in up-to-date facilities such as those opened recently in North Kensington.
It is because the Council has such high standards that it has refused to duck the tough decision on the future of Edenham. Those high standards, based on making right decisions rather than popular ones, have resulted in it winning a three-star rating that puts it at the top of the league when it comes to caring for elderly residents.
Although the decision to close Edenham has undoubtedly caused distress, the Council simply could not ignore the standards required in the twenty-first century.
With more people wanting more choice about where they are cared for, and many more choosing to live at home with support, the Council must take decisions that support these choices and commission new housing with care.
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