Decision details

Hillside Resource Centre (Hillside), Surrey County Council Residential Care Home

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To make a decision regarding the future of care and support at Hillside Residential Care Home, in Camberley, Surrey. 





1.    That current residents were supported to move to alternative services and appropriate alternative arrangements be made for those who use the short break service at Hillside.


2.    That a full staff consultation begins with the objective of redeploying and retaining existing staff and their skills and knowledge.


3.    That Hillside be closed and care and support no longer be provided from this site.


Reasons for Decision:


The existing building does not meet the standards or expectations of a modern care environment. The limitations of the building do not enable people to be cared for as they age and their health and social care needs potentially increase.


Local commissioners from Adult Social Care who have oversight of services for people with learning disabilities have advised that they will no longer support new people to move to or receive short term care and support at Hillside. This is because it does not offer what is now considered to be a modern care and support environment for people with a learning disability. The commissioners, as part of their ongoing work, also look at emerging demands for services and where these services need to be located. This work includes looking at the demand for short break services. 


The short break service is critical to a number of families in the Camberley area and the nearest other short break service is in Staines. If people moved to this service they would not be able to continue with their work, day care, clubs, church or other activities during a short break stay. This would have a significant impact on their wellbeing. Commissioners have advised that there is not enough demand in the Camberley area to commission a new stand-alone residential based service that only provides a short break service. This means that alternative appropriate short break services need to be found in the Camberley/Surrey Heath area for the current individuals who receive short breaks at Hillside.


Commissioners have also advised that there are providers who are willing to work with SCC to develop long term care options and short break services for individuals who currently use Hillside, for example Surrey Choices have stated they are willing to target the recruitment of shared lives carers in the Camberley area.


As part of any future commissioning arrangements the quality and regulatory history of the service and provider will be assessed to ensure that individuals are supported in environments that provide good quality care and support.


The Care Quality Commission (CQC) produced in June 2017 updated guidance for new services for people with learning disabilities called ‘Registering the Right Support - CQC’s policy on registration and variations to registration for providers supporting people with a learning disability and /or autism’. This guidance has had a considerable impact on the type and locations of services that CQC will register for adults with learning disabilities. 


There was considerable contact with the CQC during 2018 to seek their view on the possibility of providing a new service that would allow the council to operate a combined residential care service with facilities to provide short breaks. CQC do not generally register care services for people with learning disabilities that provide a combination of long term care and a short break service.


In May 2018 CQC asked for further information so the proposal could be considered by their learning disability specialist. At the end of July 2018 CQC advised in a telephone conversation that they were not aware of any agreement by CQC to register new services which combined long term residential care and short breaks since the publication of CQC’s guidance. However, CQC did advise that there were situations where providers had built new long term services which CQC had refused to register because they did not meet the requirements of CQC’s guidance. It is the view of officers that this information considerably increased the possibility that a combined residential care service with facilities to provide short breaks would not be registered by CQC. This would impose a considerable and unacceptable risk to the Council and this option is therefore no longer being considered.


Assessments of individuals will take account of best practice and will, where possible, include carers and families.


It is not expected that the recommendations, if agreed, will lead to any staff redundancies. Staff at Hillside could move to current staff vacancies in other in house services. 


Maintenance work will be undertaken at Hillside as necessary to maintain a safe environment during any closure period. An Access, Autism, Dementia and Learning Disability Friendly Location Assessment was undertaken in February 2019 by Surrey County Council’s User Consultant. This assessment resulted in 30 recommendations being made and identified why the building is challenging for wheelchair users and individuals with mobility issues.


[The decisions on this item can be called in by the Adults & Lifelong Learning Select Committee]


Report author: Chris Hastings

Publication date: 26/03/2019

Date of decision: 26/03/2019

Decided at meeting: 26/03/2019 - Cabinet

Effective from: 03/04/2019

Accompanying Documents: