St Mary's Hospital and Park House Residential Home are to be located in a single facility if councillors approve new elder care recommendations.

At September 27th's meeting of Full Council, Members will be asked to 'approve the development of an innovative project to pursue an integrated health and care service', either at an extension of the current hospital site or a new purpose built 'social care hub'.


The recommendation follows an options appraisal to examine the future of elder care services on the islands commissioned in January this year. 


The options outlined by Five Square Solutions were:


- Do nothing and continue with the current system. This is not recommended as 'both health and care inpatient services are only borderline viable and unlikely to be so in the future'. 


- Refurbish Park House by extending into space currently occupied by the bedsits or develop a single new build for Park House, with no substantial changes to the hospital.


- Have fully integrated health and care services by either refurbishing the hospital to accommodate as much of Park House as possible, plus an extension; or commissioning a complete new building and demolishing the hospital and Park House. A new integrated health and social care hub would be built, accommodating the existing hospital and Park House services, along with a physiotherapy gym, occupational therapy area. The hub would have 15 en- suite bedrooms.


- Have no residential services on the island and only domiciliary care services provided, i.e. close Park House and move all long term and temporary/respite residential care to the mainland.


The accompanying report, by Aisling Hick (Senior Manager, Services to our Community), states that 'it will be vital to go back to the community at the earliest possible stage to outline what we are trying to do', adding that Elder Care Forum events will be held as soon as possible. It also says that the Council is ensuring that the local health and care workforce are involved in the project and have been key contributors to the work to date.


The recommended option - fully integrated health and care services - will generate savings in the long term but will mean that providing island-based long-term care will be a priority budget area for the next 20 years, impacting on other services.


Cllr Steve Sims, vice chair of the Community Services committee, said: "While I clearly can’t pre-empt the meeting, this is a very good piece of work and demonstrates very clearly two options we cannot take forward. 


"Doing nothing is out of the question, as is having no local residential services, which would be dreadful on compassionate grounds but also provides very limited savings. 


"There will be a huge amount of work to be done if we take up either of the integrated options and there is a large capital requirement but these are surmountable obstacles. I have every faith in the abilities of both the council officers and local and wider NHS staff to drive this forward."   

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