Nursing bed capacity in Hartlepool at ‘crisis point’

Manor Park Care Home, Greenock Road, Hartlepool.
Manor Park Care Home, Greenock Road, Hartlepool.
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Nursing bed availability in Hartlepool is at “crisis point” following the closure of another home, a councillor says.

Councillor Stephen Thomas, chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Adult Services Committee, called on commissioners responsible to address the situation urgently before the winter.

The heightened concerns come after Manor Park Care Home closed in the summer with the loss of around 25 nursing care beds.

As of August 15 there were no nursing beds available in Hartlepool and 25 residential care beds.

Coun Thomas said: “The situation we have in town at the moment around nursing care is at crisis point.

“I think it’s absolutely imperative everything possible is done by the CCG (clinical commissioning group) in their role as commissioners of nursing provision to look at as a matter of urgency, particularly leading into the winter months and the pressures likely to come along.”

It’s absolutely imperative everything possible is done by the CCG in their role as commissioners of nursing provision to look at this as a matter of urgency

Councillor Stephen Thomas

Jeanette Willis, the council’s head of strategic commissioning, said the closure of Manor Park by Four Seasons Health Care due to financial reasons, coupled with three other closures in January has had “a significant impact” on availability of both residential and nursing beds.

She added: “We are working really hard to make sure our providers all stay open, attract others to come in and look at other models of delivery to get that capacity back.

“A couple of years ago we didn’t have the same pressures we have now.”

Jean Golightly, executive nurse Hartlepool and Stockton Clinical Commissioning Group said it has a track record of working with the council and other partners to address the issue.

It includes working to reduce people’s need for nursing or residential care and supporting homes’ involvement in Quality Improvement schemes.

She said: “We have demonstrated a robust and long standing commitment to our patient and population needs and continue to work jointly to address the supply of nursing home beds.”

The council has set up an officer-led task group to explore ways the local authority could have a more direct role in providing services for older people from care in people’s own homes to residential.

Coun Thomas said: “It is early stages but something we think we need to look at particularly as we have got an obligation to make sure people in Hartlepool get the best standards of care possible.”