Fight to save care home

NDET 98260 Holmlea care home Tibshelf
NDET 98260 Holmlea care home Tibshelf

WORRIED relatives of vulnerable elderly residents have formed an action group in a fight to stop council chiefs closing down a care home.

Derbyshire County Council has earmarked 20 care homes for possible closure - including Holmlea, at Tibshelf - as part of a £200m scheme to create hundreds of care apartments and two community care centres.

But Margaret Hawkins, whose 89 year-old mother Deborah Holmes is a resident at Holmlea, fears closures and moves to other locations will create upheaval and harm vulnerable residents’ health and care.

She said: “My mother has been settled at Holmlea for three years and she struggles to stand, has dementia and Parkinson’s Disease and Holmlea does a fantastic job looking after her and bringing us peace of mind.

“But my mother has heard the home may be closing and she’s very upset and the stress for residents facing an uncertain future isn’t good for their health.”

Retired district nurse Mrs Hawkins, 68, of Morton, has formed the Holmlea Action Group with about 30 relatives of residents at the care home, on Waverley Street, and is organising a petition and letters to persuade the council to reconsider its position.

The council announced plans in February to introduce about 1,600 care apartments for rent or share-ownership and two community centres at Darley Dale and Heanor.

It explained certain council run homes have therefore been earmarked for closure or demolition including facilities in Alfreton, Ripley, Chesterfield, Brimington, Shirebrook and Clowne.

Homes in Bolsover, Eckington, Castle Gresley and Chapel-en-le-Frith will remain open.

Mrs Hawkins also feels apartments are not suitable alternatives for residents in need of greater care and the plan will leave many with no choice but to consider unaffordable private care homes.

The council claims two-thirds of its homes need renovating and it wants to provide independence with 24 hour-on-site care. It stressed those with extreme needs will receive care and some traditional, residential home places will be available.

It will be holding a consultation and if a decision is made to close Holmlea a plan would be put together for residents.

A council spokesman added: “We believe the plan we’ve set out will benefit more older people, providing better accommodation with a mix of extra care apartments and specialist services for people with dementia.”

The Holmlea Action Group is holding a public meeting at the home from 7pm, on April 23.