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Care Homes To Be Closed Despite Protest At County Hall

Published on: 11 Mar, 2015
Updated on: 11 Mar, 2015

Despite an appeal from Guildford West Surrey County Councillor Fiona White, the authority has decided to close the six residential care homes for the elderly it operates.

SCC sign Surrey County Council

SCC sign Surrey County Council

The county council says the reason is because they are “too old and not fit for purpose”.

While cabinet members of the Conservative-run council made the decision at County Hall on Tuesday this week a protest was held outside.

The care homes are Brockhurst in Ottershaw, Park Hall in Reigate, Cobgates in Farnham, Dormers in Caterham, Longfield in Cranleigh, and Pinehurst in Camberley.

Cllr Fiona White (Lib Dem) said today (Wednesday, March 11): “I am very sorry to have to report that, despite the outcome of the consultation being overwhelmingly against closure, the Surrey cabinet voted yesterday to go ahead with shutting down the six care homes. It will not happen overnight and there will be time for people to talk with social workers about alternatives.

“I am very concerned that the cabinet members seem to be taking no notice of the consultation process. There seems to be little point in asking people the questions if they are not going to listen to the replies.”

Guildford Dragon reader Mary Bedforth posted a conment on our previous story that reads: “Outrageous. Some of the residents who will have to be found new places were at the large protest in Kingston. A move could lead to the premature death of some of them. That is apart from the 500 jobs likely to be lost.”

It has been reported that the GMB union fears that 437 jobs will be under threat.

A spokesman for Surrey County Council said: “The most important thing is to make sure older people receive the very best care. We’re helping many more people stay in their own homes safely until much later in life. Increasingly they require almost constant nursing when they do go into care and our homes can no longer continue to cope with their needs.”

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Responses to Care Homes To Be Closed Despite Protest At County Hall

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    March 11, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    I wonder how many of those who responded to the consultation have actually read the way they were addressed by the officers of the council.

    The report is available on the SCC website. It’s only 107 pages.

    Anybody who says that the council decision is right or wrong needs to read the consideration of the information, assumptions that had to be made, and the conclusions drawn up to help the councilors.

    • Chris Ward Reply

      March 14, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      Why should members of the public have to read a 107 page document before disagreeing with a decision? Do you think every single county councillor read it cover to cover?

      • Martin Elliott Reply

        March 16, 2015 at 10:38 pm

        YOu are missing the point. It is unreasonable to object to closures simply because you don’t want them to.

        The council has to take into account the services it provides, what it costs the council, whether it is a higher quality service than other providers and many other qualitative and quantitative factors. Most of these will be left unaddressed by responders.

        You are saying it’s OK for then to continue to object when they haven’t even read the reply addressing their concerns, and possibly say why it’s wrong.

        That’s the purpose of consultation, not that a poor objection has been ignored when it actually hasn’t.

  2. Sue Fox Reply

    March 12, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    I saw the result of the ‘deliberations’ on the 6.30pm London news – absolutely no thought for those evicted.

    If whichever party ends up in government after May 8 holds to its promises about integrating social and hospital care how on earth does this fit in?

    Have these councillors any idea how much residential care costs in Surrey are they going to make up the difference? I doubt it and if these homes are not fit for purpose how are they fit for dementia care?

  3. Mary Bedforth Reply

    August 7, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Redwood, the premises of which was owned by Surrey County Council was a care home at Merrow, closed in 2014 “in the best interests of the residents”. This followed a 2013 report by the Care Quality Commission, which found certain aspects of Redwood were so unsatisfactory as to require enforcement action.

    It lay empty for a while but then advertised for sale as an “exciting development opportunity”. There is now a hoarding outside announcing the construction of “stunning 4 and 5 bedroom houses”. The adjectives used come from the lexicon used by estate agents and developers.

    This is another example of state assets being flogged off under the current administration.

    The developer is Linden Homes. The Prime Minister visited their development at the old MAFF site in 2011.

    The chairman of Linden Homes was its founder Andrew Sells, now the chair of Natural England appointed by Cameron. He is also a Tory donor.

  4. David Smith Reply

    January 23, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Not sure if it’s of interest but Linden Homes secured planning permission on appeal for the former Redwood care home in Merrow. Decision is in this week’s planning committee agenda

    Linden Homes South: Site of the former Redwood Care Home, 179 Epsom Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 2QY
    15/P/01304 – The development proposed is the demolition of the former Redwood Care Home and the provision of 24 dwellings comprising a mix of 1 and 2 bedroom apartments and 3, 4 and 5 bedroom houses, including affordable dwellings and off-street parking.
    Planning Committee: 23 September 2015 Decision: To Refuse
    Officer’s Recommendation: To Refuse.

    Appeal allowed.

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