The Luton & Wayfield team is working with local and cross-party campaigners to Save Nelson Court from Conservative cuts.
You can sign the petition to protect the service here.
Whilst the Tories can overspend by £5.1m on capital and revenue budgets it is simply unacceptable they have announced the closure of this centre for the vulnerable and elderly.
It is utterly unethical
Below from the website:
UPDATE FROM THE 29th NOVEMBER CABINET MEETING
At the cabinet meeting today Medway Conservative councillors were very keen to stress the benefits of privatisation, and seemed to think that the private sector could provide an identical service, with the same staff and staffing levels. As well as pay rent for the premises and make a profit.
They were also keen to stress that the 60-day consultation period would convince residents and relatives that there would be no adverse effects of privatising care. Under the new system the care homes would be allowed to take 'self funding' residents who would presumably be asked to pay a lot more than the council pays for supported care - we would like to know if the care homes would then be keen to take the challenging clients with high maintenance needs for the amount of council funding, when they could be making a nice profit instead.
Somehow this doesn't seem to be the real world!
Much was made of how residents could have more choice and more independence - given that these homes are for dementia patients, it is a bit pie in the sky to expect them to start taking responsibility for sorting out their own care and funding.
It should be remembered that many have outlived their families and friends and apart from the care home staff, who are their surrogate 'family' there is nobody to care what happens to them.
Relatives and friends are welcomed at any time and because working conditions are good there is a very low turnover of staff, so managers and carers get to know individual clients and their relatives so any problems can be dealt with quickly and amicably.
SAVE ELDERLY SERVICES
Elderly care, particularly dementia care, which is provided by Medway Council's own service centres is consistently graded as 'Excellent' by the care commission. We already have a shortage of beds in Medway for older people needing to go into care, and private providers naturally take those who are the 'easiest'. Not only do the council's own facilities provide a safety net for clients with high level needs (e.g. dementia patients using wheelchairs, or with cultural requirements such as a daily shower or special diet), but they also act as a benchmark of excellence against which prospective clients and their relatives can compare other homes.
Many elderly residents in our homes have no relatives living locally, but homes such as Nelson Court in Luton not only provide them with basic care but encourage activities and socialising, as well as a hairdresser and outings.
The council's own centres allow residents freedom of movement around the units and small 'quiet' rooms in which they can sit, or receive relatives and friends without having to use their bedrooms.
Added to this we should not forget the respite service which council homes offer, giving carers a much needed break and clients a chance to socialise. This respite also means that any medical conditions which have been overlooked are picked up and dealt with which eases the burden on home carers.
I would urge Medway Council to think very carefully before getting rid of the jewels in the crown in terms of elderly care!
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