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The battle to save Derbyshire’s Care Homes from closure

May 3, 2022 8:47 PM
By Cllr Ed Fordham -roup Leader of the Liberal Democrats On Derbyshire County Council

Goyt Valley Care HomeTo update folks on the battle at County Hall to try and save Care Homes from closure.

This Thursday the Council's Conservative Cabinet will receive the report on the consultation that sees the proposed closure of seven care homes - placing the remaining 20 at risk of closure also.
The whole Liberal Democrat Council Group will attend the Cabinet meeting on Thursday to hear the debate and discussion and I will exercise my right as a Group Leader to ask questions of the Portfolio Holder Cllr Natalie Hoy. The report is likely to be nodded through by the Conservative majority. (The Cabinet is in fact comprised solely of Conservative Councillors).
Anyone reading the Cabinet papers for Thursday will come to the clear conclusion that the consultation almost universally opposed the closure - and whilst we all recognise that updates and improvements are always needed - this can be done in a way that does not close homes. It is understood and acknowledged widely within the care sector that moving elderly and frail residents in care, places them at risk and directly leads to faster and higher mortality of those in care. A decision that leads to this outcome must be opposed.
Accordingly, we are preparing plans for the decision to be Called-In to a Scrutiny Committee and will be forcing the Portfolio Holder and Senior Officers to answer questions in public.
Further, in the event that this fails to secure the necessary outcomes (and it is unlikely) we will seek to trigger the procedures for an emergency Council so that this dreadful decision is taken in plain sight with a named vote of all councillors.
If you feel able to support our opposition please do come on Thursday to Matlock for 1.15 to join the protest for the Cabinet meeting and I will keep you informed of the next stage of developments. We will be seeking to submit the petition that is comprised of signatures against this decision on Thursday as well.
The truth is that the Care Homes do not need to close to be renovated and brought up to modern standards. The way the renovations are being proposed is clumsy and poorly thought through. The Council have massively run down the Care Homes, and have ceased admissions leading to a huge exodus of highly trained and experienced staff making the provision of adequate services near impossible. This plan is about the Conservatives wanting to cut costs and reduce the size of the Council's public sector service provision for adult care. The next step will be the remaining 20 homes.

This is a closure plan driven by Conservative Party dogma supported and enabled by an unhealthy majority of 44 Conservative Councillors who dominate the Council. I can give my personal assurance that the Liberal Democrat Group wi consistently argue for County Council Care Home provision and will make the case for Derbyshire to continue to be a public sector market leader in this field. The Homes do not need to close.