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Hampshire care homes and centres set to close
MORE council-run care homes and day centres could close in Hampshire as part of a shake-up of elderly care.
County chiefs are to make an announcement today (Thursday July 18) which will affect some of the most vulnerable and disabled pensioners across the county.
Unions are braced for more job losses on top of the 1,700 that have already been shed over the past two years.
It is not yet known how many care homes are threatened with closure.
The Conservative-run council is looking to make £80m savings by 2015 to cope with a 10 per cent cut in Government funding.
It comes after the council closed three care homes last year – Cornerways in Kings Worthy, Addenbrooke in Gosport and a care home in Fleet.
About 50 residents, ranging in age from 71 to 101, some with dementia, had to move home and 111 jobs were axed. In 2011, a care home in Romsey closed.
Richard Bambridge, branch secretary of Unite at the county council, accused county chiefs of “selling off the family silver.”
He said: “We expect they are going to say these homes need improvement, they are no longer fit for purpose and it would cost millions to upgrade them - like they have in the past.”
But the union official called for the council to spend some of its “bloated” £418m reserves to improve care homes instead of closing them.
It is likely proceeds from selling care homes will be pumped into providing more extra care housing, a type of sheltered housing with services available on site if needed.
Cllr Anna McNair Scott, executive member for adult social care, is due to consider a report on investing in extra care housing at her decision day on July 26.
The report on transforming elderly care will be published today.
In a statement, she said: “In order to meet the challenges of an ageing population, at a time when the public sector is under severe financial constraints, it is vital that older people’s services are sustainable, cost effective and offer people choice and control.”
Cllr McNair Scott added “If there is to be consultation on any proposals, I will want to be assured that everyone involved, especially the residents, their families and the staff are fully supported and helped to take part.”
Most traditional day centres for adults with learning disabilities have already closed or are due to shut with new council-run services targeted at the most profoundly disabled.
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