On January 24, 2019, Grey County Council, sitting as committee of the whole, voted to rescind the decision to combine beds from Grey Gables and Rockwood Terrace. The decision, which will be formalized at the Grey County Council meeting on February 14, means Grey County will amend the redevelopment application that has been submitted to the province and will continue to operate both homes.
“Long-term care has certainly been a high profile and sensitive topic since we began looking at our options for redeveloping Rockwood Terrace,” said Grey County Warden Selwyn Hicks. “After much consideration, Council believes it is important to continue providing long-term care services in both Durham and Markdale.”
In addition to rescinding the home amalgamation, Council also directed staff to apply to the Ministry for an additional 90 long-term care beds. If approved, the County will explore how best these beds could be distributed between the two homes to improve access to care and improve efficiency.
Rockwood Terrace, the County’s 100-bed long-term care home in Durham, must be redeveloped to a Class A standard by 2025. Grey County began considering redevelopment options in 2015. In May of 2017 the 2015-2018 Grey County Council voted in favour of combining the beds from Grey Gables (Markdale) with the beds from Rockwood Terrace into a 166-bed home in Durham. An application was submitted to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care but no decision was received.
In October 2018 municipal elections were held across Ontario and a new Grey County Council was appointed. A long-term care education session for councillors was held on January 22. At this session, councillors reviewed the long-term care redevelopment information that has been presented over the past few years. After considering all the information available and the comments of the community, Council voted to continue operating both homes and to ask the province to provide additional beds to County homes.
“Redevelopment is no small task and we still have a long road ahead of us,” said Warden Hicks. “Any construction project requires significant planning and approval and is still years away. As we move forward we will do our best to keep the public informed and, above all else, ensure we continue providing high-quality, compassionate care to the residents in our care.”