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Plans for £10m social care and health centre in Rowley Regis given council backing

By Dayna Farrington | Rowley Regis | News | Published:

Council bosses have rubber-stamped 'ambitious' proposals for a new £10 million social care and health centre in a bid to help reduce bed-blocking at hospitals.

Sandwell Council's cabinet backed the plans the 80-bed centre in Harvest Road, Rowley Regis, which will provide social care-led short-stay care.

The authority, which is deemed the best performing in the West Midlands the fourth best in the country for dealing with bed-blocking, wants a new centre to help with the increase in the number of problems caused by people being forced to stay in hospital because of a lack of appropriate accommodation.

At their meeting this week, the cabinet also asked for detailed specifications for the design, building and equipping of the centre from the council working in partnership with Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group and the NHS Trust.

Councillor Ann Shackleton, cabinet member for social care and chairman of the Sandwell Health and Wellbeing Board, said: "This is a very ambitious scheme which will provide the best of accommodation for people in need in our community.

"I am proud that we are pressing ahead to provide more facilities, to build on our hard-won reputation as one of the best providers of help in this important area of care.

“Keeping older people in hospital longer than they need be is detrimental to their health and may limit their mobility and their opportunities to live independently.”

The centre is expected to be managed, operated and staffed by Sandwell Council. The plans have already been backed by Sandwell's Health and Wellbeing Board.

Councillor Shackleton added: "The centre would be designed, built, equipped, operated and supported to the highest possible standards.

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"This type of facility would offer many benefits for older people such as delaying hospital admission or keeping them out of hospital altogether, or having to go into long-term residential or nursing care.

“If they do have to be admitted to hospital, it would ensure that they stay there for as little time as possible and are then quickly and safely discharged in to a more appropriate care and support setting.

"They can then receive rehabilitation, supporting them in the transition from hospital to home as soon as they are medically fit.

“They could then eventually return home with a limited package of care and support or ultimately no care maintaining their independence at home.”

Sandwell Council will now apply for planning permission for the site – giving residents the opportunity to express their views on the proposals.

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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