Derbyshire County Council say plans to move the majority of elderly care home residents into apartments will give them “their own front door” and improve the quality of their accommodation.
In reality, this means that their choice to live in existing homes will be removed and jobs may be lost. Research evidence shows that the trauma suffered by residents in similar circumstances is such that death is a likely consequence.
Offering apartments to purchase or rent smacks of privatisation and it is concerning that the council fail to inform us who will manage these properties and services. Even more worrying, the council have shown that they don’t always tell us their business, as was demonstrated when the Derbyshire Times used the Freedom of Information Act to discover that £163,000 was spent on a “free”newspaper, at a time when 2000 jobs were planned to be axed.
Cllr Jones maintains that changes to elderly residential care are urgent because homes are in a poor state of repair. However, the Spinney, one of the first homes earmarked for closure, is well kept. This home has recently been fitted with new kitchens and bathrooms have been updated.
We have to ask, therefore, what is the real reason Derbyshire County Council intend to spend £200,000,000 of our money on potentially devastating changes? I would suggest their plans have little to do with improving services for the elderly, rather they appear to represent a continuation of the government’s attack on workers and the most vulnerable in our society in order to protect the comfortable lives of a privileged few.