Wigan care home project launched

Work is set to begin on a new adult care home in Wigan in response to a rocketing number of elderly residents.

Friday, 21st December 2018, 11:56 am
Updated Friday, 21st December 2018, 1:03 pm
An artist's impression
An artist's impression

Construction on Dovestones, a nursing and care home in Bickershaw, is expected to begin in early 2019, according to the town hall.

The new project, initially dubbed “The Croft”, has been funded by Wigan Council in an attempt to match the increasing elderly population.

Wigan Council’s care home reform committee initiated plans to commission two new care homes and redevelop an existing building to combat a “fragile adult social care market”, in September last year.

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One of the key priorities of the care home reform board, the health and social care scrutiny committee heard, is to develop £5m worth of additional capacity for the 70,000 over 65s - around a fifth of the population - expected to be living in the borough by 2025, 9,000 of whom will be over the age of 85. Town hall figures predict that by 2025, the number of people aged over 65 will have increased by 50 per cent in just 10 years, while the number of people aged over 85 living in the borough will have more than doubled.

Government data released earlier this month also reflects council figures, estimating that the number of elderly people will continue to rise sharply over the next decade.

Elderly residents may have almost doubled from 2008 in another 10 years, with 1,455 estimated to be living in households across the borough by 2028.

To ensure the correct facilities are in place, the council outlined plans for three developments, which will create a total of 170 new care home beds and six end-of-life suites across three different areas including Bickershaw and Leigh.

Dovestones, a 66-bed facility in Bickershaw will provide care for people with nursing needs and people with dementia. There will also be several end-of-life suites.

Wigan Council will not run the care homes but is likely to hand them over to private providers. Currently, many care home providers struggle financially because they claim the cost of providing places exceeds the funding provided by local authorities.

Jo Willmott, assistant director for provider management and market development at Wigan Council, said: “We recognise the importance of providing our residents the opportunity to enjoy high quality care close to their local community.

“In particular there has been growing demand for people who have a range of complex needs, which is an issue across the country.

“Through The Deal for Adult Social Care we’ve been working to create a diverse care market and the Care Home Reform Board identified a number of developments.

"We’re on track to deliver on our pledge to create more extra care services with our Little Lane facility in Goose Green now welcoming residents. Working with the care community in the borough has also seen the development of two end-of-life suites at Brideoake.”