A consultation has begun on the future of Westlands care home in Leighton Buzzard – with closure of the facility being the preferred option of Central Beds Council.
The authority says it has look at several options for the site, but favours constructing a new home in the area [at Hockliffe Road], relocating existing residents to new home and closing Westlands.
The other ideas it has explored are:
> Doing nothing – continue to run Westlands in its present form.
> Transferring Westlands to another organisation to run as a going concern.
> Building a new home on Westlands site – moving residents to alternative homes, demolishing the old home and building a new one.
> Running the home down – stopping new admissions to the home but keeping it open for an agreed period of time or until it had no residents.
> Refurbishing the home to meet modern standards
As reported last week, the home was recently inspected by the Care Quality Commission and judged to be “good” after a “requires improvement” rating in 2016.
The council says: “We want the best possible quality of life for all of our residents and are committed to developing and improving accommodation with care for older people.
“We own and operate five care homes, including Westlands older persons’ home in Leighton Buzzard, which were built several decades ago and which currently no longer meet the expectations of customers and regulators in terms of facilities and accommodation.
“Having reviewed a number of options for the future of the home, our preferred option is to secure the development of new care home capacity at Hockliffe Road, Leighton Buzzard with sufficient places at that home for anyone at Westlands who wishes to go there, and then to close Westlands.
“If agreed, this option will take a minimum of two years to implement during which time it is intended that Westlands would remain open.
“For those people who are most directly affected by the proposal we will organise meetings and events to enable everyone who wants, to participate in the consultation.”
The consultation closes on Wednesday, 6 November. See www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations