BREAKING NEWS: Devon care homes to close, but some reprieve for day centres

Signs of protest by Oakwell Care Home in Bickington. Signs of protest by Oakwell Care Home in Bickington.

Monday, June 16, 2014
2:25 PM

Council closure plan confirms the worst for worried families.

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TWENTY council-run care homes will close, but there will be some reprieve for day centres, Devon County Council has confirmed today (Monday).

Beech House in South Molton; Burrow House in Ilfracombe; Lydiate Lodge at Lynton; Fairlea in Northam; and Oakwell in Bickington are among those set to close, meaning residents will now have to seek similar care from the private sector.

County-wide, only two homes will remain, specialist dementia units at Woodland Vale in Torrington and Newton Abbot.

Of the 11 North Devon day centres marked for closure, only five will go – Springfield and Quayside in Bideford; Beech House in South Molton; Burrow House in Ilfracombe; and a hub at the Plough in Torrington.

In Barnstaple, Oakwell, Rosebank, Silverhill, Tarka and Greenfields will be retained as a new ‘integrated service’ at a site still to be decided.

The future of the Oasis day centre in Barnstaple is still unclear.

Proposals for homes and day centres had come under weeks of public scrutiny, with many claiming the move to withdraw or transfer services would strike a major blow against the region’s most vulnerable.

But an announcement today by Councillor Stuart Barker, the council’s cabinet member for adult social care, has confirmed the worst for the many worried residents who opposed the plans.

He said: “Nothing will happen immediately. This is a process that will take time and we will do this with great care and sensitivity.

“In taking the decisions I want to ensure that everyone who is entitled to have a service from us gets it, be it residential care or a day service, and that they will continue to receive a service that meets their needs.

“The phased closure of our care homes will be conducted over a period up to 18 months, and that process will be managed case by case with residents and their families.

“No one will within reason need to move until a place at the home they choose to move to is available. The speed of their move will, to a large extent be determined by the residents themselves and the availability of their choice.

“No one will move unless they are able to do so safely.”

3 comments

  • My mum has been fortunate, until now, to be a resident, actually more a member of the family at Oakwell. We have already had medical advice that she will probably not survive a move, but hey, she is just an older person without a voice, who has worked hard all her life, what does that matter against government cutbacks? Dementia is a terrifying concept for a family to deal with. We were fortunate to be able to utilise all of Oakwell's outstanding services. My mum participated in the activities at the day centre, whilst this gave my dad some time on his own to catch his breath it also offered mum quality time with specialist activities designed to keep her mentally stimulated. When Dad became ill, the respite care was a haven for mum during his many hospital visits. It was for our family not the devastating acceptance that we needed to consider a home for mum, but a natural progression. By the very nature of how Oakwell runs, we didn't have all the tears and trauma when Mum became a resident. She was already familiar with the staff, the routine and the surroundings. I had hoped she would live out the remainder of her days here. The staff don't see her as someone unable to communicate verbally, they see her how she was. They recognise all of her nuances and instantly know what she needs. Whilst by many it would be seen that she lacks quality of life, indeed I may have been one of them once, she has fought to live. Everyone at Oakwell ensures that whilst all of her care needs are fulfilled so are her emotional needs. Little things matter to them, colourful mobiles bought by staff members themselves hanging in her room catching the light maintaining what little sight she may have and music ringing through the room with mum singing her own version. Although unable to walk now they still ensure that she enjoys a cream tea outside on a sunny day. I apologise if this has become a personal ramble but this is my story of Dementia with my Mum and if I don't speak up for her and the many others like her then who will? We were the lucky ones, until now, because we had everyone at Oakwell supporting all of us through our journey. My heart goes out to everyone in Devon who is or will be in the future touched by dementia. This is not a sad day it is a tragedy.

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    julie3004

    Tuesday, June 17, 2014

  • I notice Councillor Barker hasn't mentioned anything about the hundreds of people who will now be rendered jobless as a result of this. Why don't they just admit that the real way they will be saving money through this ridiculous plan is by cutting out the hundreds of thousands of pounds of wages they no longer have to pay! This whole thing is a disgrace!

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    Amy Beer

    Monday, June 16, 2014

  • As an attendee at Oasis, I think the underhand tactics of the Devon County Council will also see the end of Oasis, as they tried to get rid of us 2 years ago, they even served us notification of termination, then after we (the Group) said we didn't want direct payments but wanted Oasis to continue, we were placed out of sight into Rosebank's Dining room, we showed the Council that we are adaptable, we are low running cost to the Council,so why are they choosing to pick on the physically disabled? Is it because they think we are disabled that we don't have feelings, we hurt more than most everyday, yet this further attack at trying to hush hush us with talks being offered in July to silence our voice forever, can only be classed as downright heinous. I implore anyone who knows of a way we can stay as we are, to come forward and help us in anyway you can. I ask if there are any groups for adult physical disability in the UK, who are still surviving, if so, how can we go on to survive through this dire time? A ray of light must be out there. I still live in hope until the twelfth hour.

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    Catherine Yates

    Monday, June 16, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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