Health and Social Care Committee
HSC(4)-15-12 paper 6
Inquiry into Residential Care for older people - Feedback of engagement work to date – Note of visit to Linc Care's Llys Enfys Development
HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE COMMITTEE – VISIT TO LINC CARE’S LLYS ENFYS DEVELOPMENT (26 APRIL 2012)
1. As part of the inquiry into residential care for older people, members of the Health and Social Care Committee visited Linc Care’s Llys Enfys development in Llanishen, Cardiff (26 April 2012).
2. During the visit Committee members met staff representatives of Llys Enfys and Linc Cymru. The purpose of the visit was to:
· view – and learn more about – the independent living model adopted at Llys Enfys; and
· learn more about the mix of services provided via Llys Enfys’s integrated housing approach, including personal care and support, sheltered housing for older people, and specialist accommodation and support for people with dementia and young disabled adults.
3. The facility at Llys Enfys has been operational since 2012. During the course of the visit, Members met a number of current residents.
4. This paper summarises the key points raised during the Committee’s visit.
About the Llys Enfys development
Independent living and the mix of services
5. Linc Cymru representatives explained to Members that the Llys Enfys independent living scheme enables older people to live safely and independently in their own homes, while benefiting from packages of onsite personal care and support. All care and support packages can be adjusted according to the changing needs of residents and can be delivered to them in their own homes.
6. The Committee was told that the scheme comprises 102 self-contained flats, with a mix of 1 and predominantly 2-bedroom accommodation. 124 residents currently reside at Llys Enfys, 60% in single-occupancy and the remaining 40% as double occupants. Llys Enfys staff told the Committee that a conscious decision was made to provide more 2-bedroom than 1-bedroom flats to ensure that family can visit and stay, and to remain flexible to future demographic changes (e.g elderly people looking after even more elderly parents or vice versa). Guest bedrooms in addition to those within people’s homes are also available on site.
7. The flats have been designed to meet the needs of varying levels of support, including:
· 60 flats for extra care provision, 7 of which are designed and adapted for older people with memory loss or dementia ;
· 8 flats for disabled young adults; and
· 34 flats available for older people to rent.
8. An appointed organisation is available on site to provide personal care to those who are assessed and meet council eligibility criteria. The Llys Enfys development has been designed to allow onsite care to be adjusted according to the evolving needs of residents. This is with a view to ensuring that a change of personal care or support needs does not necessarily have to mean a change in lifestyle or address for residents. Consultation rooms are also available for use by health professionals and residents.
Facilities and activities
9. Members visited the various facilities available on site including the shop, laundry room, hairdressers and the communal lounge, restaurant and garden. These facilities are provided to ensure that residents can maintain their independence without needing to leave the building, and can use a mix of services as and when they are needed.
10. Each floor includes an activity room for any residents who wish to use such facilities – Members were shown one room were residents had raised money to purchase a pool table. We were also told that Llys Enfys has an active Social Committee that arranges a number of regular events. Residents are also active in designing and maintaining the garden in cooperation with an appointed gardening contractor.
11. Members were also told about the active links Llys Enfys and its residents maintain with the local community. Meetings about a local park were held in the communal area of Llys Enfys, and residents have been actively involved in campaigning for a bus route in the area. More widely, Llys Enfys also hosts meetings and talks for a number of third sector organisations with the aim of improving residents’ knowledge, awareness and understanding of conditions such as dementia.
Sensory, memory and mobility problems
12. Linc Care staff also explained that collaboration with RNIB Cymru and the Alzheimer’s Society has ensured that the building’s design and layout is practical for tenants with sensory, mobility or mental health problems.
13. Committee members were shown that all signs were provided in Braille for residents with sight problems, and each floor of the building had a clear colour theme to limit confusion for those with sensory or memory problems. For those with limited mobility, handrails were available throughout the building and a dedicated room provided for residents to leave their mobility chairs and equipment in a safe environment without disrupting their own homes. Assisted bathrooms were also available within Llys Enfys and emergency chords available in all rooms of each flat in case assistance is needed urgently.
14. Seven flats within the Llys Enfys development are designed and adapted for older people with memory loss or dementia. These include door and floor sensors as well as equipment that can alert staff to over-flowing water or other similar occurrences.
15. The Committee were told that, in the experience of Linc Cymru’s work at Llys Enfys, many (if not most) residents find they need less care and support, once established there, than would have been the case in the community. Staff were keen to emphasise that ageing did not necessarily equate to increasing dependency and that individuals can regain health and capacity, as well as lose it.
Staffing and training
16. Members were told that Llys Enfys is managed by Linc Care staff whilst care services are delivered via an appointed on-site provider.
17. The Committee were told that Linc Care staff working at the facility are subject to regular training with some undertaking specific training on conditions such as dementia.
18. Members were told that the capital funding for the Llys Enfys development was provided via a combination of social housing grant (56%) and private finance (44%). With respect to the private finance element, 10 of the 102 flats were funded by Linc Care funds with the remainder raised on the market.
19. Fees for residents vary depending on the different needs of residents. An integrated payment arrangement is in place whereby a proportion of residents’ fees can be covered by any housing benefit or local authority funding for which they may qualify.
20. Members asked if any consideration had been given to selling flats within the complex on the open market akin to the McCarthy & Stone model. Linc Cymru staff told Members that, although such a model had been considered, it was not deemed economically viable due to lack of market interest in that particular location.
21. Development of new extra care facilities of this nature have been halted by Linc Cymru as the social housing grant is no longer available. Linc Cymru staff told Members that should further grants be made available, further facilities of this kind would be viable and developed by the organisation.
About Linc Cymru
22. Linc Cymru is a not-for-profit housing association specialising in the affordable housing, social care and health sectors in Wales.
23. Linc Care is one of Linc Cymru’s two main strands of work (the other being Linc Homes). Linc Cymru provides independent living services, nursing care, supported housing and sheltered housing. Linc Cymru has seven independent living schemes across Cardiff, Newport and Blaenau Gwent and over 330 apartments in management. Linc Care has one nursing home and plans for the development of another two facilities of this kind in South Wales.
24. As a not for profit organisation, Linc Cymru expressed the view that a stronger voice for the not for profit sector – to be heard by the Welsh Government – would improve provision of services of this kind for older people in Wales. It was also felt that a platform on which they could come together would assist in sharing best practice in this field.