What aspects of elderly care provision need attention or better focus in the NDP?
Between 2015 and 2020, the lifetime of the current NDP, the general population is expected to rise by 3%. That may not seem like much, but in the same period, the number of those aged over 65 are expected to increase by 12% (1.1 million); those aged over 85 by 18% (300,000); and centenarians by 40% (7,000). 1)Political challenges relating to an aging population: Key issues for the 2015 Parliament
Hoylake already has a higher than national average number of over 65s (22.4% or 2,600 in total). 2)http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/census/2011/census-data/2011-census-data-catalogue/population-and-household-estimates/index.html">2011 Census
This may explain in part why it has been anecdotally assumed that there is a greater than average need for elderly care provision in Hoylake.
However, little data has been available to support or inform this important area. The following should help: Including existing care home spaces and those currently approved for development, there is care home provision for 336 people in Hoylake and Meols, sufficient for 2.7% of the local population. This represents an increase of 27% since 2011. 3)Analysis of care home provision in Hoylake, HVL, 2011
There are 381,000 care home residents in the UK representing 0.6% of the population. 4)University of Kent PSSRU: Provision of care home services in Britain 2012.
This would equate to 75 people from the population of Hoylake and Meols. By 2020, it is estimated that 1.5% of the populace will have dementia, 33% of whom will require care home provision. 5)Dementia – A state of the nation report on dementia care and support in England
This would equate to 60 people from the population of Hoylake and Meols.
The current number of dementia-suitable care home spaces in Hoylake and Meols is 169; approximately 75% of existing provision.
This will increase significantly when the current new developments are complete to approximately 250 spaces.
Whilst understandable that lower land prices and larger property sizes in seaside locations present attractive development opportunities for private care home developers, it is clear from this data that there should, in theory, already be sufficient provision for local people.
It could be argued that future proposed developments should be viewed in that context. However, research is also needed to determine whether, despite the apparent adequate provision, there are still areas of local need that are not being met, for example:
- Is there sufficient respite care for local people and their carers?
- Are there areas of provision that are still not satisfying local need?
- Can or should developers be required to ensure sufficient spaces are reserved for local people so that nearby relatives can easily visit?
- Can we work with WMBC to identify some of this data to help inform a policy for future proposed care home developments?
In order to identify which objectives, priorities and policies relating to elderly care provision need to be built into the next iteration of the NDP in 2020 we will need to:
- Conduct a fuller audit of current care provision, using up to date local and national data as well as local survey.
- Identify areas where local need is not being provided for local people.
- Explore new objectives, priorities and policies that might help shape a more informed approach to care provision in the future.
- Identify what further facilities could be provided within the public realm and green spaces that might help improve access and enjoyment of Hoylake for the elderly.