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Council invests £6.6m in care homes. Plea for wifi.


Dolphinlee Residential Care Home, Lancaster
Dolphinlee Residential Care Home, Lancaster
Chris Satori

Lancashire County Council has announced that it will be investing £6.6m to improve its residential care homes for older people.

The council's Cabinet met yesterday (12 October) to approve the funding, which will see improvements to all 17 county council-run homes.

The scheme will help to modernise the buildings, improve safety systems, install new facilities and redecorate the homes to ensure they are welcoming and provide a better environment for people with complex conditions such as dementia.

County Councillor Graham Gooch, cabinet member for adult services, said: "Our care homes provide vital support for over 750 people across Lancashire.

"They have a great reputation with residents and their families and most are rated as good by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

"They are used day in, day out, so there's a lot of wear and tear on buildings, decoration and facilities.

"These aren't just buildings, they're people's homes and we've got to keep them maintained to a high standard so they're comfortable and meet modern standards."

You can watch Cllr Gooch saying all this at The £6.6m investment is made up of £1.7m which had been previously earmarked for care home improvements, plus an additional £4.9m from the capital budget, which has been approved today.

Surveys have been carried out at each care home to prioritise areas for improvement.

Some of the improvements that will be funded include internal decoration, floor coverings, kitchen units, updating fire protection measures and upgrading lighting.

County Councillor Gooch added: "The improvements will help to ensure we continue to fulfil standards set out by the CQC and offer good facilities in line with market expectations in the care sector. 

"We've carried out research and are ensuring the improvements make the buildings as easy and safe to use as possible for people with dementia and other complex conditions.

"This scheme is a key part of our plans to provide even better care for older people across the county."

Now that the funding has been approved, there will be a tendering process to award contracts for the work at the 17 care homes. The improvements will be carried out over the next two years.

Why don't care homes have wifi? 

Can VL just add a plea for wifi? It always amazes us that so many care homes don't provide wifi. It makes it so much harder for elderly people to stay in touch with their elderly friends. Residential care placements tend to be isolating enough without being cut off from the internet as well. It's time.