Council defends plan to consult on Chesterfield care home closure

Council bosses have defended plans to consult on closing a Chesterfield care home.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Friday, 31st January 2020, 11:30 am

Derbyshire County Council is consulting on the possible closure of seven care homes, including The Spinney, Woodlands, Brimington, due to the cost of bringing them up to modern standards.

However, worried relatives have hit out at the plans.

Val Brassington’s 100-year-old mother-in-law Rhoda is a resident at The Spinney and she fears she would not cope if forced to move.

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Rhoda Brassington, centre, celebrating her 100th birthday with son Peter and daughter-In-Law Valerie.

Urging people to sign an online petition calling for the home to be saved, the 68-year-old retired civil servant, of Linacre Wood, asked why Chesterfield, Derbyshire’s largest town, would be left without a local authority care home.

She said: “The council quotes the cost of required alterations as £1,720,305 over the next five years. Why has this money not been spent already?”

She also asked why council documents showed nearly £5 million not spent from the adult social care budget was transferred to another fund, rather than being spent on the homes.

The council said, even if repairs were carried out, “some of the homes are no longer fit for the purpose of providing high-quality care for older people with increasingly complex needs”.

The Spinney care home, Brimington, Chesterfield.

A council spokesman said: “We have a large number of older buildings that, despite ongoing maintenance, still need extensive work to bring them up to modern standards.

“However, even if the work – estimated to cost £34 million - was carried out, some homes would still not be fit for the purpose of providing high-quality care for older people with increasingly complex needs, such as not having enough room for essential equipment and residents not having en-suite bathrooms.

“Taking this into account, alongside the findings of the Older People’s Housing, Accommodation and Support Commissioning Strategy 2019-35, which projects diminishing need for traditional residential care in the long term, the council has to consider whether it is a good use of public money to repair these buildings.

“We understand this will be an anxious time for everyone who may be affected by these proposals and we’d like to reassure them no decisions have been taken yet.”

The consultation opens on January 31.