Care homes share cash bonanza

Older people in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire are set to reap the rewards of a multi-million-pound windfall for improving care homes.The three counties will share more than £2.

Older people in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire are set to reap the rewards of a multi-million-pound windfall for improving care homes.

The three counties will share more than £2.7m to boost the quality of life for care-home residents, minister Ivan Lewis is due to announce today.

It is part of a national Department of Health dignity- in-care scheme which will see 7,000 care homes across England share £67m.

In Norfolk, 120 homes have been successful in their bid to share the county's allocation of more than £1.2m - one of the largest amounts in the country - as part of the capital grant to enhance the physical environment of residential care homes.

Suffolk has been awarded £900,000 and Cambridgeshire will receive £605,000.

The money will directly benefit residents in the homes by funding such things as replacing worn carpeting or floor coverings to reduce the risk of falls, upgrading and redecorating dining rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms, improving gardens or outside spaces to encourage outdoor exercise, alterations that would give the residents greater privacy and providing IT resources such as internet and email access.

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Gautam Patel bid successfully for £17,000 to create a sensory garden at Grenville Court Care Home in Horsford. He said: “I'm ecstatic and really excited about this money. It will be great for our service users. We will be creating the garden with their help so I think it will be really good for them.”

Chris Mowle, cabinet member for Norfolk adult social services, said: “This is a great boost for older people in Norfolk, especially as it will directly benefit people in residential care.”

Care-services minister Ivan Lewis said: “Through the Department of Health's dignity-in-care campaign I have heard how much dignity matters. I know how important it is for people living in care homes to have an environment they are happy in and that they are proud to call home. By distributing this funding to 120 care homes in Norfolk, and to 7,000 throughout England, we are able to improve the lives of tens of thousands of people and their families.

“This supports the excellent work of health and social-care professionals, the voluntary and independent sectors and carers - both family and paid - who work passionately together every day to continually improve the lives of older people,” he said.

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