Devon County Council care closures to be ‘challenged’

11:43 18 June 2014

Signs of protest by Oakwell Care Home in Bickington.

Signs of protest by Oakwell Care Home in Bickington.

Archant

Decision to close care homes and day centres to be ‘called in’ by council’s own scrutiny committee.

A DECISION to close 20 council-run care homes and 17 day care centres across Devon is expected to be challenged by Devon County Council’s own scrutiny committee, the Gazette understands.

On Monday, it was announced that Beech House in South Molton; Burrow House in Ilfracombe; Lydiate Lodge at Lynton; Fairlea in Northam; and Oakwell in Bickington are among the homes 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 in Torrington and Newton Abbot.

Of the 11 North Devon day centres marked for closure, 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.

But Oakwell in Bickington, and Barnstaple-based 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.

As the Gazette went to press yesterday (Tuesday), Liberal Democrat and non-aligned county councillors were making moves to ‘call in’ the Conservative-led cabinet’s decision.

Frank Biederman, independent county councillor for Fremington Rural, was one of three members, along with Lib Dem councillors Alan Connett and Alastair Dewhurst, hoping to refer the decision to the council’s own ‘People’s Scrutiny Committee’.

Mr Biederman told the Gazette: “We are challenging the decision on the grounds that the evidence base the council has used is flawed.

“We don’t believe there is alternative or equivalent care elsewhere in the community.

“The decision has to be called in by three member of the scrutiny committee within five days and a special meeting will have to be arranged to enable us to ask the cabinet to look at this again.”

Unison has called the decision ‘shameful’, saying it would result in more than 1,000 job loses and leave more 400 vulnerable adults facing an uncertain future.

But councillor Stuart Barker, the council’s cabinet member for adult social care, said a phased closure of homes and day centres over the next 18 months was the ‘only way’ the authority could plug a £200million Government funding gap.

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.”

Read more reaction to this story at www.northdevongazette.co.uk


What do you think? Email newsdesk@northdevongazette.co.uk or write to the usual address.

1 comment

  • I am totally appalled at the decision to close these care homes & agree fully with Mr Biederman that it will be impossible to find equivalent care elsewhere in the community.My mother has been a resident at Oakwell for 3 years & the care she receives is outstanding.She is 83years old & suffers from severe vascular dementia,to move her now would be life threatening.Oakwell is a centre of excellence for dementia care & should be expanded not closed.

    Report this comment

    Lyn Parker

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

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

Other News Stories

It was a full house at Torridge District Council's plans committee today (Thursday).

Torridge District Councillors have refused plans for 200 new houses - despite officers recommending Heywood Road plans for approval.

Read more
Westward Ho! teenager Yazzy Chamberlain is releasing an album

Yazzy holding launch event for ‘Silly boys breaking hearts’ on Sunday

Read more
14:24
Chelfham Mill. Picture: Nicholas Mutton

Principal says private school will looks to re-register once police investigation is complete.

Read more
Mark and Emma Smale with Imogen and her sister Evie. Picture: Sarah Howells

Friends and family are hoping to raise £9,000 to buy a water therapy unit for young Bideford girl with life-limiting illness.

Read more
14:40
Bideford's Torridge Bridge.

The 82-year-old from Fremington suffered with depression but inquest heard his death came as ‘complete shock’.

Read more
This year's festival at Castle Hill was a wet and muddy affair

July’s wet weather left Castle Hill in ‘worst condition for 26 years’

Read more
Angelina and Patrick Montague outside of the new Monty's Caribbean Kitchen restaurant.

New Barnstaple restaurant will bring a taste of the West Indies to Barnstaple.

Read more
08:00
Pauline Smith with her new book, Tales of the Torridge.

New book out this week uncovers history of the River Torridge, and will be officially launched at Appledore Book Festival.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:38
Can you call the wine man's bluff?

Teams will taste wines from around the world before hearing a different description from each of the panelists - but who is bluffing?

Read more
Yesterday, 12:38
Marc Harris, pictured with a chameleon, has opened Safe Haven Exotics, a reptile rescue centre near Barnstaple. Picture: Andy Keeble

Reptile rescue centre opens its doors near Barnstaple.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition


North Devon's trusted business finder