Agenda item

Meeting the needs of the growing care home population

To receive an update on how the health and care economy was meeting the needs of the growing care home population in the context of the challenges faced by General Practice.


Dr Zylstra provided a presentation on how the needs of the growing care home population were being met.


During the discussion of this item the following points were made:


·         The local population was expected to increase by 15% by 2039 to 183,600, with the most significant change expected in older adults aged 85 years and over.

·         Dr Zylstra explained that there were three types of care home; residential home/care home, nursing home/care home and dual homes.

·         There were 22 care homes within the Borough; 13 were residential homes, 8 were nursing homes and 1 dual.  It was noted that 10 of the 13 GP practices provided GP support to these care homes. 

·         There were a total of 1017 beds; 455 residential beds, 461 nursing home beds and 101 dual care home beds.  Members were informed that 50% of the care home beds within Berkshire West were located within the Wokingham Borough.  Many residents came from outside of the area.

·         Patients could choose to stay with their registered GP if local when moving to a care home or to register with the care home GP, if different. 

·         Care homes ensured that all patients were registered with a GP and contacted the GP practice when required during working hours.  Some care homes had one GP practice looking after residents and others had several practices.

·         The Care Home Support Team aimed to increase the skills of the care home staff by building their knowledge, skills, confidence and professionalism.

·         The Rapid Response and Treatment Team was a multidisciplinary service comprising of a community geriatrician, advanced nurse practitioners, registered nurses and was available 7 days a week, 9am – 7pm.  The Team helped prevent unplanned acute hospital admissions.  The number of non-elective admissions to hospitals from Wokingham was reducing. 

·         £1.5million had been allocated for the Rapid Response and Treatment Team for Berkshire West and the team had been in place for 5 months.  In response to a question from Councillor Smith as to whether it was anticipated that the service would generate savings, Dr Zylstra commented that a saving of £2million for 12 months had been allocated against this service.  Currently, the service was breaking even so achieving the £2million saving was unlikely, but it was hoped that a £1million saving would be made.

·         Outside of working hours support was provided by Westcall. 

·         Nationally 57% of all elderly care home residents contributed to their care with 43% receiving free care.  However, in the Borough approximately 80% of care home residents paid for their own care.

·         Dr Zylstra explained that the NHS made a contribution for nursing care provided to all patients, including self-funders.  The assessment was made on a per capita basis.  Wokingham was perceived to have a healthier population and as such its figure was lower than many other areas.

·         Councillor Smith questioned how many beds would be needed in future in light of the growing ageing population and increase in those with more complex health needs.  Dr Zylstra commented that there was an increasing focus on keeping people out of hospital.  Councillor Haines expressed concern that this may lead to some people not being picked up at a sufficiently early stage.

·         Councillor Blumenthal enquired how many available beds there was currently within the Borough and was informed that it was unlikely to be more than 10. 

·         Councillor Smith asked about waiting lists for care homes.  Dr Zylstra indicated that delayed transfer of care levels in Wokingham were low.


RESOLVED:  That the update on how the needs of the growing care home population were being met was noted.

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