One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Peterborough: Care Homes To Close
Controversial plans to close two Peterborough City Council-run care homes have been approved.
The Peterborough City Council cabinet has today (Monday) approved the closure of Greenwood House in South Parade, Netherton and Welland House in Poplar Avenue, Dogsthorpe.
The reasoning behing the decision is summarised as being '...in order to provide the best possible facilities for older people and ensure that the money available for adult care is spent in the most efficient way.'
The closures have been approved despite more than 5,000 people signing a petition against shutting the homes.
According to the Council, Councillors voted unanimously to shut the facilities.
The plan is to close Greenwood House at the end of November, followed by the closure of Welland House by March 2013.
They will be closed '...once alternative provision has been found for every resident and service user.'
The decision is subject to a 'call in' process, where members of the Council can scrutinise the plan.
If there is no 'call in' on the decision, meetings will be arranged for residents and their relatives to discuss what happens next.
Councillor Wayne Fitzgerald, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: "The decision made by Cabinet today has not been taken lightly.
We have spent a great deal of time weighing up the options, talking to those affected and considering how we can provide the best possible care for our older people now and in the future, with the money we have available to us.
My Cabinet colleagues and I have taken a great deal of time to consider the comments made during the consultation, after which it was decided that closure of the care homes was the right decision to make for current and future residents and for the city as a whole.
We believe that residents can receive the care that they need in independent sector homes which are modern and therefore have better facilities. We also cannot ignore the savings that can be made from closing these homes, at a time when council budgets are dwindling and we have less money from government to provide care for an ever growing older population.
Our over-riding aim is to ensure that the standard of accommodation and facilities available for our residents and users is of a high standard.
Whilst we want to support all older people in Peterborough to be able to maintain their independence in their own home for as long as possible, we want to ensure that for those that need residential care it is provided within high quality modern accommodation."
Meanwhile plans for a 'Dementia Resource Centre' in Peterborough were also agreed by the cabinet.
The Council says it '...would provide a base for day support services for people with dementia and their carers and a central place for expert advice and information.'
Terry Rich, Executive Director of Adult Social Care for Peterborough City Council, said: "It became apparent during the consultation that the services we provide for people with dementia could be improved.
We believe that this could be achieved by commissioning, with our partners, a dementia resource centre.
Now we have agreement from Cabinet, we will be meeting with partner organisations to establish a centre to support people with dementia and their carers.
One of the key aims of the Older People's Accommodation Strategy is to support more people to live independently, thus reducing the numbers that need to access residential care.
A dementia resource centre would support people to remain independent for as long as possible by providing and developing networks of community based support for both service users and carers, and by providing specialist day services and opportunities."
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