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PLANS to redevelop a former Rhondda care home into specialist care accommodation for people with learning disabilities have taken another step forward.

Rhondda Cynon Taf’s cabinet gave its backing to the plans to redevelop the former Bronllwyn care home in Gelli at a meeting on Monday, July 18.

It is part of the council’s care home modernisation plan which was previously agreed by cabinet in December 2020 which included closing Bronllwyn care home and consider its redevelopment as there were no residents in the home when it closed.

A pre-application consultation is expected to be submitted to the planning department in August 2022, which will include carrying out a local public information event to present the proposed redevelopment designs for

A full planning application is expected to be submitted in October and a decision from planning committee is expected in January 2023.

Subject to getting planning permission, the provisional start date for construction is set for March 2023.

The redevelopment will be made up for 14 en-suite rooms, three communal day rooms, two sensory rooms, two assisted bathrooms, a commercial kitchen, sufficient space for 24/7 support staff presence including a training room, a private outdoor garden and sufficient on-site parking

The plan will also see the current care continue as well as support arrangements for people who previously used Bronllwyn Day Centre until the new older people day centre at the Dan-y-Mynydd Extra Care Scheme in Porth opens in early 2024.

The day centre at Bronllwyn is then set for permanent closure to allow the redevelopment of the site and the supported living service team office would be moved to Ty Elai

The cabinet report said the reason for the proposal is to provide specialist care accommodation for people with learning disabilities in adulthood and older age.

It said it will help to meet existing and future demand, as more people are living longer, with increased complex care and support needs.

The report said there is increasing demand for this provision, as there is an absence of specialist care accommodation that is tailored to the needs of older people with learning disabilities.

It said that Bronllwyn was constructed in the 1970s and is a dated building, built for a different generation of older and disabled people than is now the case.

It said the home was not designed to meet the current expectations of
accommodation and no longer meets modern standards.

The report added:

“Modern purpose-built care homes are now designed to be disability friendly and have a bigger space standard to support mobility/hoisting needs.

“They also have en-suite facilities, so people are more able to toilet themselves or with support.

“This is clearly a very important part of maintaining someone’s sense of dignity and independence and meets the requirements of the Registration and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) 2016 standards.”

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, there were 26 people attending the day centre from around the Rhondda area and whilst it was valued by the people who attended, it had been underused for many years, according to the report.

Bronllwyn Day Centre is currently closed and has been throughout the
pandemic, except for opening for three days a week during a short period
between August 2021 and December 2021.

Despite having to close Bronllwyn Day Centre, the council said it has ensured, based on assessed need and risk, that where appropriate, some people have transferred to Tonyrefail Day Centre for day services whilst others have been offered alternative care and support in their own home.

The current overall capital cost of the proposed redevelopment of
Bronllwyn is estimated at £4.979m with an updated detailed cost analysis due to be received in July 2022.

Redevelopment costs of £100,000 relating to surveys and initial
architect design work were funded through the Welsh Government
Integrated Care Fund – Discretionary Capital Programme in 2021/22.

The plan is to submit a new funding application in July 2022 for the full redevelopment costs, currently estimated at £4.879m, to
Welsh Government’s Integration and Rebalancing Care Fund (IRCF).


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