Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Council says closing care homes is the ‘only way’

16:14 16 June 2014

Springfield Day Centre in Bideford.

Springfield Day Centre in Bideford.


Devon County Council says phased closure will help plug Government funding gap.

DEVON County Council says closing care homes is the ‘only way’ the authority could plug a £200million Government funding gap.

Residential homes will close over the next 18 months as part of a bid to cut its budget from £600 million in 2009 to £400 million in 2017.

In a statement released following today’s announcement, the council said its own care homes cost an average of £903 per bed per week compared to £426 a week in the private sector.

It said it already buys 90 per cent of the residential home places it needs from the private sector, but spends nearly 30 per cent of its £70 million residential care budget on providing places for the remaining 10 per cent of residents.

The council stressed there was ‘sufficient’ capacity among the 4,300 the county’s independent registered care beds to meet the demand of council-funded residents.

Councillor Stuart Barker, the council’s cabinet member for adult social care, 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.”

The Council received around 2,000 responses to its consultations on the future of residential and day care services, with most responding to the proposals for day services.

Some voiced concern about the risk of isolation if their day centre closes, while others worried about the availability of alternative day centres in their area.

Carers highlighted their reliance on day centres as respite to them in their caring role.

Similarly care home residents questioned the availability of suitable alternative residential homes, especially for dementia care.

They worried that the quality of care in private homes is not as good as that in council-run homes, while families were concerned that relatives will not cope well with any move.

Cllr Barker added: “We do have considerable experience in helping people find alternative residential care and we fully understand the anxiety that such change can bring to residents and families.

“We will do everything we can to minimise that anxiety, following the very best national guidance and good practice in supporting residents through the transition.

“Regarding day centres, we need to recognise that there are far more people, eligible for our support, who choose not to attend day centres, least of all our day centres.

“We need to support them more, to maximise the opportunities that Direct Payments and personal budgets provides them. We will be working with the private and voluntary sector in local communities.

“We also need to make sure that everyone who chooses to attend day centres can still do exactly that together with their friends if this is their choice as well.

“Nothing will happen immediately and no one will be left without a day service or be financially worse off for it.

“Individual support from independent trained professionals will be provided to help people with more complex care needs.

“Where people are keen to keep friendship groups together, we will aim to do so. We will also arrange taster sessions to give people chance to visit other day centres without committing them.”

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other North Devon Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by North Devon Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique North Devon Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 20:31
Bideford Hospital.

Union calls on county council debate to discuss funding for Devon’s rural hospitals

Read more
Yesterday, 14:43
The Coca Cola Christmas truck is heading to Barsntaple on Friday (Nov 27)

Holidays are coming as truck visits the Square on Friday (Nov 27)

Read more
Yesterday, 10:40
Crowds gather each year for Ilfracombe's Lighting of the Lights

Don’t miss festive switch-on this Wednesday evening at 7pm

Read more
Yesterday, 10:26

A39 collision between a car and a lorry sees road closed

Read more
Mon, 18:17

Fire service called on Monday afternoon to A399 blaze

Read more
Mon, 17:33

Recovery and emergency services on scene

Read more
Mon, 13:11
North Devon District Hospital.

Assaults up by a third on previous year, according to NHS England figures

Read more
Mon, 10:23

The fire service was called to Morans Thai Restaurant on Sunday evening

Read more
Sunday, November 22, 2015
Blake hit the big red button to turn on Barnstaple's Christmas lights. Pic: Elliot Anderton

Festive fun as town’s lights are switched on by BRIT award-winners

Read more
Sunday, November 22, 2015
This year's Relay for Life raised £17,000 for Cancer Research UK

Relay for Life 2016 is open for registration.

Read more

Christmas in North Devon

Christmas in North Devon

Christmas Magazine

Click here for your ultimate guide to
Christmas in North Devon

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Search for a job in Devon

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications