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A Barfoot BW

On August 3, Grey County Warden Alan Barfoot and members of Grey County council received a signed letter from some of the past wardens. This letter expressed concerns about the recent decision to amalgamate the beds from Grey Gables and Rockwood Terrace Long-term Care facilities. Click here to download the letter

Below is Warden Alan Barfoot's response letter to this group. You can find all of the details about this decision on the long-term care redevelopment webpage.

Dear Past Wardens:
Thank you for your letter and your commitment to the people of Grey County. Our current Council and staff are keenly aware of the high level of interest in long-term care services provided by the County. That interest is welcome and natural, given our aging population and the growing demand for these services.
Over the past several years, staff have undertaken significant research and analysis to find the best way to meet the changing needs of our aging population. The solution that staff presented, and which Council approved, addresses that fact that seniors entering our facilities have increasingly complex health care needs. We need to have the equipment, facilities and staff to deliver the care our residents need and deserve.
The reports and rationale for the decision have been shared with and presented to the community on a number of occasions. You have raised a number of questions in your letter, which I am pleased to address below:
A market analysis by real estate group CBRE has demonstrated that there is a strong market for Grey Gables to provide a range of seniors' services along the continuum of care, such as assisted living and memory care. This will enhance the availability of services for seniors in southern Grey County by meeting a market that is currently unserved.
At this stage, it is too early to seek expressions of interest.
Decisions about where to locate a long-term care facility are not based on the geographic centre of the county. In terms of access, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) do not differentiate between a municipally operated long-term care home and a privately operated one. Both are provided the same level of provincial funding, are held to the same standards and are included equally in analysis of equitable access to long-term care. By Ministry standards, Grey County is considered well-served as compared to other parts of the province. That is why securing new 30-year licenses for all 166 beds would be a benefit to Grey County residents over the long run.
Initial costing to renovate Rockwood Terrace was completed six years ago and provided a baseline for future financial planning. Based on the amount of work it would take to bring it up to the new Ministry standards and the disruption to residents and staff during the process, renovating the current building is not a desirable option from a service or care perspective. The age and design of the building limit the options for selling or repurposing it.
The County has been transparent in its work and its analysis. We have shared all available information while respecting proprietary data and confidential intentions of private operators.
The LHIN is incorporating the plans of all long-term care operators into their consideration of how to provide equitable access to beds in the County.
In addition to the Sienna report and the LHIN's work, Grey County staff also considered future population growth in the final recommendation.
While the 66-beds moving to Durham would not receive redevelopment funding from the Province, the resale of Grey Gables is anticipated to offset some of the costs of redevelopment and will also provide an opportunity for more services for seniors in southern Grey County. The County will have a new 166-bed facility with the equipment needed to provide complex medical care, delivered in a way that provides consistent staffing in a comfortable home environment for residents.
Grey County has created a dedicated webpage to make it easy for the public to find all long-term care redevelopment information in one place. It can be accessed from the Grey County homepage at www.Grey.ca.
As former Wardens, you all understand that elected officials must balance many factors to meet the needs of our community. We have to be responsible both to our current constituents and to the future best interests of the community. None of us take this responsibility lightly. Sometimes, we have to make difficult decisions. I know my colleagues on County Council share your dedication to meeting the needs of Grey County as we work towards building a system of care that our own families may someday use. We all have the same goal.
We are mindful of the timelines for redevelopment and it is our responsibility to ensure that we have a clear plan in place to comply with the Ministry standards taking effect in 2025. I have shared your letter with the rest of Council.
Sincerely,

Alan Barfoot
Grey County Warden

 

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