Elderly and vulnerable residents will face disruption and relocation miles away from their families if Nottinghamshire County Council closes its remaining council run care homes, say campaigners.
Residents have until 26th January to have their say on proposals to close all six of Nottinghamshire County Council Care Homes, including those currently open in Ashfield and Ollerton, over two years.
Under the proposals residents would have to move to private homes or be cared for in their own homes under extra care housing.
Bishop Court Action Group has already collected 5,000 signatures to save the Bishop’s Court home in Boughton.
Organiser David Croft said: “It is a disgrace - 64 members of staff will lose their jobs at a stroke of a pen.
“When residents have already been scrutinised through their own procedure and receive 24 hour care, how will they get suitable accommodation and treatment if the home closes?
“They have not only mental but physical disabilities.”
In the 2015/16 Budget proposals, the authority proposed developing extra care housing and care services in place of the current provision.
But Mr Croft added: “ They can’t find the staff so the maximum they can do is three visits a day.
“All residents at Bishop’s Court have mental health issues. You can’t leave these people alone.”
Kirklands care home in Kirkby is also facing closure if the proposals are approved by the full council on 26th February.
Kirkby councillor Rachel Madden said: “ People are understandably worried because it is the only council facility in our area and they and their families will have to travel far away if it closes.
“It would take a decent facility from the area and closure would cause a heck of disruption of people’s lives.
“We are still in the consultation process and I will not be happy until I have seen the exact details of the long term alternatives.”
The proposals were made as the council faces making £77 million savings over the next three years, following Government grant reductions.
Coun Muriel Weisz, Chair of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Adult Social Care and Health Committee, said: “We understand that residents and their families will be concerned about the proposed closures of the Council’s care and support centres, but we will work with all residents to make sure they find places that meet their needs and are of their choice if this proposal goes ahead.”
“The Council believes that all older people in residential care should be in homes that have high quality environments and it is estimated that it would cost the Council £4m to modernise each care home to the necessary standards.
“Extra care is a real alternative to residential care and residents will be given priority for a place in a new build extra care scheme where appropriate, which offers residents greater independence with on-site support as and when they need, if the centres close.”
The proposed closure of care homes would take place over two years and only after the new extra care schemes being developed by the Council become available.
She added: “The Council will be supporting all staff affected to find employment elsewhere if it is approved. There is a possibility that they could secure a position at one of the new extra care schemes being developed by the Council and run by an independent provider.
“We encourage people to give us their feedback on our budget proposals by taking part in our consultation via our website at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/budget or by picking up a consultation booklet at a local library.”