Review of Reading's Reablement Service and The Willows Residential Care Home

Closed 24 Oct 2018

Opened 25 Sep 2018


We are constantly reviewing the ways in which we deliver services, including adult social care services, to ensure they are appropriate, effective, cost efficient and sustainable.

As a part of this process, we are reviewing elements of the Reading’s Reablement Service to improve its ability to promote independence. As part of this review, we will also be considering the future of the Willows Residential Care Home, where part of the Reablement Service is currently based. We have developed a draft proposal for how we could deliver these services in the near future.

The Discharge to Assess Reablement Service supports people to regain and retain their independent living skills and return home after a period of rehabilitation or hospital stay. The majority of the service is delivered to people in their own homes, alongside a short-term bed-based service which is delivered from the Willows.  

The current location of the bed-based part of this service is no longer suitable to sustain the service going forward, due to reduced level of demand and the aspiration for the service to better promote recovery and independence.

The Willows also houses a residential care home service, which offers long-term care for older people and people with dementia. It also offers a small respite service with 24 hour support for people on a short term basis, to allow carers to take a break. However, it is no longer practical for the care home to support people with longer term nursing care needs and this service would require a significant investment if it were to continue.

At present there are 27 empty rooms, with just three people with care needs who live at the home on a permanent basis, which will shortly be reducing to two people. The respite service is also infrequently used. For the reablement part of the service over a third of the allocated beds are often unused.

We have identified Charles Clore Court Extra Care Housing in Tilehurst as a potential new location, in order to deliver a service which is consistent with best practice in bed-based reablement. By co-locating the service within the extra care environment, it is felt the service would better promote recovery and independence and would deliver better outcomes for clients. With demand for the bed-based reablement service having declined significantly in recent years and the majority of people supported to return home directly from hospital, we are recommending a reduction in the number of beds available to closer match the level of need.

The needs of current residents and wider service users are our top priority and the two remaining residents will be assessed to ensure that they are provided with appropriate alternative services before the changes take place.

After the two remaining permanent dementia patients are settled in alternative accommodation, the Willows will be closed. The future possible uses of the building will be subject to further consultation once a decision has been taken on this proposal.

The key proposals we are making are:

  • We will move the Discharge to Assess (Reablement) service to Charles Clore Court, which is an Extra Care Sheltered Housing (ECSH) service and continue to provide this service, matching the number of beds available to the level of need.
  • We are proposing to temporarily close The Willows Residential Care Home, supporting the two existing residents with alternative care arrangements to meet their care needs in a suitable and caring environment. The long term future of the site can then be reviewed.

Please take the time to share your views with us and inform our decision making in autumn 2018. The final proposal on how we deliver these services in the future will be written with the consultation responses in mind.

Why We Are Consulting

This consultation provides an opportunity for individuals, the community and partners to have a say on the proposed changes we are planning to make to Reading’s Reablement Service and The Willows Residential Care Home.

We welcome your views on this proposal, so that you are able to influence the final plan regarding the future of these services.

We will be speaking in person with the key individuals and groups directly affected by these proposals and they will have the opportunity to discuss the details and express any concerns with us.

Residents and family carers who need help to give feedback about the plans can get this from Healthwatch Reading by phoning 0118 9372295 or Residents' social workers will also ask Healthwatch Reading to provide an independent advocate for people who qualify for help to have their say about their future care plans and needs.

We want to ensure that everyone who wants to can take part in this consultation: 

  • If you prefer, we can provide you with a paper copy of the consultation document and a pre-paid envelope so that you can fill it in at home and post it back to us. Please call 0118 937 4277 if you would like us to do this.
  • If you would like a large print version of this consultation or would like help with completing it please email: or call 0118 937 4277.


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