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County Council care home closure plan put on hold

Coun Stuart Wallace, Nottinghamshire County Council. Photo: Marlow Photographic
Coun Stuart Wallace, Nottinghamshire County Council. Photo: Marlow Photographic

The closure of two council-run care homes in Nottinghamshire is set to be put on hold.

Nottinghamshire County Council plans to close all of its remaining care homes, as it moves towards ‘extra-care’ housing, which it says is £49 to £91 a week cheaper per person compared to a residential care home.

The council is expected to approve plans which would see the closure dates for Bishop’s Court, in Boughton and James Hince Court, in Carlton in Lindrick, delayed until more research is carried out.

Under the proposals, St Michael’s View in Retford, would close in March 2019 and Leivers Court, in Arnold, would shut in June 2019.

Kirklands Care Home, in Mansfield, closed in June 2016, after the opening of the nearby Poppy Fields Extra Care Scheme.

The council says savings of £784,000 have already been made, and a further £803,000 will be made this year.

For those who still need more intensive care, the council pays private care homes to provide beds.

However, concerns have been raised about the private sector’s capacity to deal with demand at a price the council can afford to pay.

Coun Stuart Wallace, chairman of the committee overseeing the closures, said: “The closure of our remaining care and support centres was approved in February 2015 following consultation.

“At this time, a commitment was made to open ‘housing with care’ (or extra care) facilities in the same area to offer an alternative to residential care.

“There will be no closures until alternative accommodation is provided.

“The council has a target to double its housing with care places across Nottinghamshire over the next three years from 242 places to 500.

“It is our priority now to develop housing with care schemes in Retford and Ollerton.

“Housing with care gives people the independence and privacy of having their own home, but with a team of care staff available 24/7 at the touch of a button.

“There are also communal spaces and activities available on site to reduce the risk of social isolation and loneliness.

“There are 24 long-term residents in our five remaining care and support centres and we are proposing to work closely with them and their families to arrange suitable alternative accommodation prior to the closure of each centre.”