Care home to close – two years after council spends £4m on it

PROTEST: Eleanor Parker presents at petition to Cllr Jill Haynes

PROTEST: Eleanor Parker presents at petition to Cllr Jill Haynes

First published in News

DORSET County Council is set to close a home providing residential and respite care for people with learning disabilities two years after spending £4million on the facility.

The council’s cabinet agreed to the closure of Phoenix House in Blandford, despite receiving a petition signed by over 1,000 people voicing their opposition to the closure.

Eleanor Parker, a care assistant at Phoenix House, handed the petition over to the council’s cabinet member for adult social care Jill Haynes ahead of the cabinet meeting.

She said that the 1,177 signatures had been collected in around two weeks.

She added: “There is an awful lot of support in Blandford.”

In the meeting, councillors head that Phoenix House, which opened in 2012, was currently underused with only a 26 per cent take up of the respite care side and one long term resident at the facility which can accommodate 10 residents.

The home costs over £1million a year to run and members were told that the closure would result in a saving of £650,000.

Cllr Haynes stressed that the respite service would still be provided elsewhere and that the NHS would provide care for the long term resident of Phoenix House.

She said: “The most important thing we have to do here is separate the building from the provision of the service.

“We will continue to provide the service, this is about a building that isn't working.

“The service is a good service that we provide and we will continue to provide that.”

Councillors Barrie Cooper and Janet Dover both spoke out at the meeting to support those fighting the closure of Phoenix House, stressing its value to those that used the home.

Head of specialist adult services Glen Gocoul said that since the decision to build Phoenix House was made in 2009, the national and local approach towards care provision had changed with more emphasis on helping people to live in the community through supported housing.

Director for adult and community services Catherine Driscoll pointed out that the £4million cost of the facility was made up of the building itself and fitting it out with equipment.

She said that the equipment would be retained by the county council for use in other facilities.

Comments (2)

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6:08pm Fri 4 Jul 14

lying eyes says...

this is happening all over this country,,,,it,s a government lead cost cutting scheme,,,they are just not prepared to put any money into schemes like this,,they want the already stressed/out,,hard/p
ushed,,family,s ,,to carry the burden of care,,,their so called expert mouthpiece,s,,,then tell us how much better it is for all concerned,,,,I have a brother in law,,who is in a very severe stage of dementia,,,we,ve managed to get him in a well run special unit,,where he has been for a few years now,,,,,but now that home ],,is under threat of closure,and already had 5 rooms closed,,,where are these people expected to go,,,,our usual faceless experts spout on about care in the community,etc etc,,,,we live in one of the richest country,s in the world,,,and yet we treat people in desperate need of our help like this,,,,,,expert,s polititian,s,I spit on them,with all the contempt they deserve,,,,it,s all about the money,,,,,,just as long as it does,nt affect them...
this is happening all over this country,,,,it,s a government lead cost cutting scheme,,,they are just not prepared to put any money into schemes like this,,they want the already stressed/out,,hard/p ushed,,family,s ,,to carry the burden of care,,,their so called expert mouthpiece,s,,,then tell us how much better it is for all concerned,,,,I have a brother in law,,who is in a very severe stage of dementia,,,we,ve managed to get him in a well run special unit,,where he has been for a few years now,,,,,but now that home [[ which is not that old ]],,is under threat of closure,and already had 5 rooms closed,,,where are these people expected to go,,,,our usual faceless experts spout on about care in the community,etc etc,,,,we live in one of the richest country,s in the world,,,and yet we treat people in desperate need of our help like this,,,,,,expert,s polititian,s,I spit on them,with all the contempt they deserve,,,,it,s all about the money,,,,,,just as long as it does,nt affect them... lying eyes
  • Score: 7

6:27pm Fri 4 Jul 14

Old Colonial says...

The people making these decisions are not fit for purpose. In 2009 the move was already there to change the way care was provided. And now since they realise the wrong direction was taken, the powers that be have deliberately allowed the facility to be understaffed and under resourced so it could not be a place of choice anyway. Despicable.
The people making these decisions are not fit for purpose. In 2009 the move was already there to change the way care was provided. And now since they realise the wrong direction was taken, the powers that be have deliberately allowed the facility to be understaffed and under resourced so it could not be a place of choice anyway. Despicable. Old Colonial
  • Score: 6

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