The Vale of Glamorgan Council has spent nearly £400,000 improving a sheltered housing facility for the elderly in Cowbridge.
Partly paid for through a grant, the project has been allocated money from Welsh Government’s Intermediate Care Fund.
Longmeadow Court is made up of 24 flats, with on-site management staff to take care of residents.
The refurbishment saw a new two-storey extension constructed, additional storage and laundry facilities built, while communal areas were also upgraded to include accessible toilets. This has allowed frail people living in the surrounding area the opportunity to become part of the scheme.
Two new accommodation units were provided by the extension for use by people who are ready for discharge from hospital, but not yet able to return home. Such individuals can stay there while they recover further and any necessary adaptations are made to their properties.
The construction works at Longmeadow Court were carried out as part of the Accommodation Solutions Project, which involves an innovative partnership between the Vale of Glamorgan Council, City of Cardiff Council, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Care and Repair Cymru and Age Connects Cymru.
Together the five organisations work to fast-track low level adaptations to patients’ houses so that they can return home as quickly as possible.
Where this is not possible the team arrange a stay in specially designed properties known as ‘step down’ units like those at Longmeadow Court in order to aid recovery.
In 2015/16 Cardiff and the Vale provided eight step down units for patients requiring alternative short-term accommodation, which meant they could be discharged from hospital
This helped avoid a significant number of hospital bed days where certain individuals would have stayed had this accommodation not been available.
Over the course of one year, three units in the Vale were used by 16 people and avoided 297 hospital bed days.
Cllr Andrew Parker, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Housing and Social Care said: “We have made a substantial investment to improve facilities at Longmeadow Court and I’m pleased to see that money has translated into such major improvements to the building. Credit must go to Cllr Bronwen Brooks, who started the ball rolling on this project while in office.
“Laundry and toilet facilities are among the areas to have been upgraded, along with communal areas, but perhaps the most significant work has seen two new accommodation units built. These are specifically for people who should not be in hospital but are not yet ready to return home. Offering such provision should free up precious hospital beds for people who really need them.”