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Seven Derbyshire Care Homes to Close

Seven council-run care homes are to shut despite a campaign to keep them operating.

Conservative-run Derbyshire County Council the homes were not fit for purpose and needed urgent repairs costing an estimated £31m.

Opposition groups and unions had said the move threatened the wellbeing of residents and jobs of staff, as GMB campaigners gathered outside holding a placard up to the window displaying the names and photographs of each individual member, demanding their public accountability.

However, at a meeting on Thursday, the council cabinet approved the plans, saying it was an “incredibly difficult decision”.

The affected homes are:

• Ladycross House, Sandiacre
• Beechcroft, West Hallam
• East Clune, Clowne
• Holmlea, Tibshelf
• The Spinney, Brimington
• Goyt Valley House, New Mills
• Gernon Manor, Bakewell

The fate of the homes has been a matter of debate for years, with the council performing a U-turn on earlier plans to shut them in 2020.

Earlier this year, the authority launched a consultation on the homes but shortly after, the council announced residents would have to be moved out by September regardless of its outcome.

It said the homes were in such poor condition that “invasive work” such as rewiring and refitting of bathrooms was needed.

Prior to the meeting, a petition was handed into the council with 3,919 names on it opposing the closures and as soon as the decision was made both the Lib Dem Leader Ed Fordham, and Labour Leader Joan Dixon submitted requests on behalf of their respective parties for emergency meetings to allow full council to debate the issue.

Ed Fordham, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, had told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “This report is a death nail for a number of care homes.”

Dr Joan Dixon, leader of the Labour group, said many elderly residents and their families felt “betrayed” by the move.

Up to 204 staff are now facing redundancy, a union had earlier said.

Unison said members had been kept “in the dark” about their futures.

The council has said it will commence a consultation with affected staff on 16 May.

Natalie Hoy, cabinet member for adult care, said: “This has been an incredibly difficult decision and not one we have made lightly.

“We understand how upsetting this has been for everyone involved but our priority has always been for the safety and wellbeing of our residents, their families and our staff.

“We listened to people’s views but carrying out the work – including an invasive rewire at each home – with people still living in them simply wasn’t viable.”

However Cabinet member for Health and Communities Carol Hart condemned the claim as being ‘totally out of order’, arguing that if the move was handled well residents shouldn’t be badly affected.

The authority has offered to pay bill for residents relocating to suitable alternative accommodation at an estimated cost of £2m.

 

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