Understandably, the worrying threat of closure for Nottinghamshire County Council’s remaining residential care homes is causing concern.
Kirklands in Kirkby and Bishop’s Court in Boughton are part of this impending decision process.
Elected members should remember that these service users are extremely vulnerable people and each one is fully deserving of the utmost help, support and respect.
For residents, any upheaval or changes to familiar surroundings, current lifestyle or carers can be confusing, stressful and difficult to tolerate or understand.
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Time spent in this field as a former principal officer and full time carer helped me to gain experience of both public and private sector provision.
Local authority run premises, although not infallible, are generally noted for providing and maintaining high levels of care and setting benchmark standards.
In addition, these homes are usually subject to more frequent audits, inspections and monitoring.
The future health, safety and well-being of our population is a high priority and should be considered a front line service by councils entrusted with this responsibility.
Clearly modern facilities are important, but optimum standards and the continual quality of care provided by staff on site is even more so.
As representatives of a coalition government whose economic strategy includes reducing council funding, platitudes from some county councillors cut no ice.
This current policy puts more vital public services at risk and increases financial pressure on local authority budgets.
Nevertheless, with a difficult final decision looming, for me the retention of this residential service provision in-house is the right choice.
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