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Time Bomb of Dementia - Cheshire East

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Cheshire East reaffirms commitment to strong action to tackle 'time bomb' of dementia

Cheshire East Council has reaffirmed its commitment to putting' residents first' and taking strong action to ensure appropriate dementia care provision — both now and in the future.

The Council's health and adult social care overview and scrutiny committee today backed Cabinet policy decisions (from July 1, 2014) to implement its Dementia Commissioning Plan and review of services at Mountview care centre.

Today's decision reconfirms the Council's clearly stated position that Congleton's Mountview centre is to remain open — providing day care for vulnerable local people.

It also confirms the Council's intention to secure respite care provision from the private sector in order to widen the range of choice for customers and deliver high-quality social care services which meet the needs of the community while delivering modern standards of care. This will be subject to formal consultation.

This is essential if Cheshire East Council is to effectively meet the long-term needs of its older residents.

The 'call-in' had been made by the Council's Labour group.

The decision of the scrutiny committee was warmly welcomed by Cheshire East Council Leader Michael Jones who said the Council could now proceed with its plans without further delays.

Councillor Jones said: "What we and the people of Cheshire East need is strong action and action now — not unnecessary delays. Increasing need for dementia care is a ticking time-bomb for communities across the country.

"Nor should it be about turning adult social care into a political football — as some are seeking to do. What matters is getting the right care provision at the right time and in the right place to suit the needs of our vulnerable adults.

"The adoption of this Dementia Commissioning Plan follows this Council's commitment to putting 'residents first' and taking strong action to ensure that 'dementia matters' in Cheshire East Council.

"This is part of a change of direction in response to the Council's growing commitment to an illness that affects and will affect many residents in Cheshire East, now and increasingly in the future."

In Cheshire East, 30 per cent of adults who reach their nineties are likely to suffer from either Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

Cheshire East has an approximately 5,400 residents, known to the Council, aged over 65 with dementia. This is predicted to rise substantially by 2020.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of health and care in the community also welcomed the scrutiny committee decision today.

She said: "This is a sensible decision. This Council firmly believes in putting residents first — and, above all, our concern and responsibility is to protect the welfare of our most vulnerable citizens.

"This is about giving the residents the appropriate care, at the appropriate time in the appropriate environment.

"The Council is taking positive action to increase the range of respite provision to increase the choice and control for carers while ensuring modern, high quality of care.

"Mountview's day-care services continue to operate as normal.

"It should be remembered that the decision to transfer residential respite services to the independent sector was taken in June 2013, subject to appropriate respite provision being secured locally for Congleton residents. This has now been achieved.

"The report before Cabinet on July 1 spelled out that we have identified provision of more than 1,000 respite bed nights a year in the independent sector in the Congleton area.

"The day service will continue to operate as normal and the adult care service will continue to explore alternative options for Mountview."

The most recent report to Cabinet provided a fuller description of the commissioning plans for dementia, which underpin these changes. Key priorities in that plan that the Council is committed to are:

Early diagnosis;
Early support and reablement; and
Crisis support.
The two care reports support the delivery of the Cheshire East Council Three-Year Plan, which includes commitments to ensure:

Our local communities are strong and supportive;
Cheshire East has a growing and resilient economy; and
Local people live well and for longer.

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