A major investment in four new dementia units located in communities across Gwynedd has been confirmed by the Council’s Cabinet.

Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet supported a report that an annual figure of £808,000 be approved to staff four specialist dementia units located at residential homes run by the authority, which includes Plas Hedd in Bangor.

With building work already completed on developing the specialist units at Plas Hedd, Llys Cadfan in Tywyn and Plas Hafan in Nefyn thanks to funding through the Welsh Government’s Integrated Care Fund, the unit at the Council’s Bryn Blodau home in Llan Ffestiniog is expected to be completed next summer.

The four specialist dementia units form part of the joint efforts of Gwynedd Council and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to ensure that the county’s older people have access to the specialist care and health services they need within their community.

Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Gareth Roberts said: “I am delighted that we are moving closer to delivering vital services that people need at the heart of our communities.

“By developing specialist units that are staffed with professional health and care staff, people living with dementia will be able to receive the care and support they need as close as possible to their loved-ones.

“Delivering the specialist care that people with dementia need can be very complex and we know that there simply isn’t the capacity at present within the private sector, especially in some of the more rural communities within Gwynedd. Too often, we have seen people with dementia having to seek the residential care they require in facilities far from their family and friends.

“Gwynedd residents have repeatedly told us about the grief and anguish caused by trying to cope with the effects of dementia on loved ones, which is often multiplied many times over by having to travel large distances to specialist care facilities far from home. I am therefore proud of the fact that we as a Council can develop vital services like these for our more vulnerable residents, especially during a time when local authorities are having to prioritise spending.

“By working with our partners in the health service, we aim to respond to the desires of Gwynedd people as we introduce our community-based approach to dementia care. These four purpose-built units located across the county will help to ensure that more Gwynedd people will be able receive the care they need as close to loved-ones as possible.

“We are confident that this model of working together with our partners in the health sector will be a major benefit to our local communities. As a Council, we will be monitoring the progress and if successful will be looking to extend the model to other parts of the county should resources be available.”

Ffion Johnstone, West Area Director for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Gwynedd Council to develop our dementia services within the community.

“Our key aim is to deliver care closer to home and this investment will ensure that those who are most vulnerable in our communities will have access to the specialist care they need.”

The construction work has been completed at the Council’s homes in Tywyn, Bangor and Nefyn. This work included adapting parts of the residential units so that they are suitable for residents with dementia.

The work includes extending the dementia facility at Plas Hedd in Bangor, and work will shortly get underway to extend the specialist dementia space at the Bryn Blodau home in Llan Ffestiniog.

It is expected that staff recruitment will get underway in early 2019.