Proposals to replace ageing Belper care home gets residents’ backing

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Major plans to replace an ageing residential care home with a purpose-built development in Belper have moved a step closer.

Derbyshire County Council wants to close the Ada Belfield Home for Older People and transfer its residents to a new facility at the former Thornton’s factory site on Derwent Street.

Yesterday the council revealed that its proposals had won the backing of residents as well as their friends and families.

They ‘overwhelmingly’ supported the plans on the condition the Field Lane home would not close before the new one was open.

Now the county council’s cabinet will meet on Tuesday when it will be asked to agree to:

n Close Ada Belfield once a new care home proposed for the former Thornton’s factory site on Derwent Street is open

n Transfer residents who want to move to the new development

n Transfer staff to provide continuity of care.

The council’s cabinet member for adult social care Councillor Paul Smith said he was pleased residents were happy with the plans.

He said: “We’re really pleased residents have responded so positively to the proposals and share our vision of having 21st century facilities for our residents.

“We’re committed to replacing Ada Belfield with a state-of-the-art new home and have reassured residents there’ll be a place for them there if they want it.

“We’re also keen to offer staff the opportunity to take up roles in the planned new home and will be continuing to talk to residents and their families throughout the planning and development process.”

The council launched an eight-week consultation in June to give people an opportunity to have their say on the plans.

Forty people attended two meetings at Ada Belfield and staff were also invited to take part.

Letters were sent to GPs, the voluntary sector and neighbouring private residential homes, with overwhelming support for the plans.

Following concerns about access and parking, the council pledged to carry out a comprehensive review around travel and parking which would be shared with residents and their families.

The proposed new residential care home would have 40 beds and plans for the site include a long-awaited library for the town.

The plans are part of the council’s strategy to continue to invest in its own residential care services for older people through either upgrading facilities in existing homes or investing in new buildings.

Councillor Smith added: “The quality of care provided at Ada Belfield is very high, but the building itself doesn’t meet the standards provided in other county council-run homes and care centres and would cost a lot to improve.“Our ambitious plans to build a new modern home to meet our high standards and those expected by our residents are obviously a vital part of the proposals.

“If these plans are agreed, we will continue to work closely with residents and their families to ensure they know what is happening and we will be with them every step of the way.

“We will also make sure Ada Belfield is kept to a good standard and nobody would be expected to move until a new, higher quality home nearby was ready.”

Maintenance and refurbishment costs at the 25-bed residential home on Field Lane are estimated to be £850,000.