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County Councillor Questions Move To Close Care Homes

Published on: 9 Mar, 2015
Updated on: 9 Mar, 2015

Surrey County councillor for Guildford West, Fiona White (Lib Dem), is questioning the authority’s moves to close residential care homes it owns.

County councillor Fiona White.

County councillor Fiona White.

Mrs White is the adult social care spokesperson on Surrey County Council and says that one privately owned residential care home in Surrey has recently been closed by Care Quality Commission, meaning that older people had to be moved at short notice.

She adds that another home close to Surrey’s borders which the council has used for care packages was also closed down, and that a check of Care Quality Commission’s website shows that there are five privately owned homes within 13 miles of Guildford where they have been found to be inadequate in one or more categories.

She said: “Is this really the right time for Surrey’s Conservative leadership to close the residential care homes it owns? Liberal Democrats on Surrey County Council think it is not. The reason for the county wanting to get rid of the homes is not because of poor levels of care, but because the council has failed to look after its property. They have piled up large sums of money in the bank while the buildings have been left to become outdated.

She will be asking this question to at a Surrey’s Conservative cabinet meeting on Tuesday, March 10.

She added: “With the difficulties some care homes have got into and the Care Act just coming into force in 2015/16 and all its implications, Surrey needs to keep all its options open. That includes making sure that the council can provide a good level of care for everyone who can no longer live independently in their own homes. This is a time to invest in updating the property to make sure they never let down Surrey residents.

“Whenever I have visited Surrey-owned residential care homes, the residents have said they are very happy with the care they receive. The people working there have a high level of commitment to their work and the people they look after. The Conservative-run county council are letting down both those residents and care workers.”

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Responses to County Councillor Questions Move To Close Care Homes

  1. Fiona White Reply

    March 11, 2015 at 8:13 am

    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.

  2. Mary Bedforth Reply

    March 11, 2015 at 10:25 am

    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.

  3. Martin Elliott Reply

    March 14, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Everybody who objects to closure of the home or replied to consultation makes emotional statements about the homes and residents.

    Unfortunately, whilst it can take account of these factors, the council has an obligation to look at the financial case for and against the council owning/running the homes.

    The council officers have produced detailed reports on the factors that should be considered in making a decision.

    None of the comments I’ve seem address any of the facts in those reports. Maybe because they are too detailed? The one attached to the agenda ran to 107 pages.

    Personally, I have no direct interest in the decision. However I feel, as with many other issues to be addressed this year, discussion, consultation, and objection should be holistic and address all the important factors of the issue.

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