Talks to start on care future

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - ALEX HIB­BERT

THE coun­cil has been crit­i­cised for fail­ing to keep ser­vices users up to date on planned changes to de­men­tia care.

Cheshire East Coun­cil’s De­men­tia Com­mis­sion­ing Plan de­tails pro­pos­als to move all respite care into the pri­vate sec­tor. That means that Hollins View Care Home, pic­tured, – the only coun­cil-run fa­cil­ity in the town to of­fer respite care to de­men­tia suf­fer­ers – could face clo­sure.

Un­der other rec­om­men­da­tions in the plan, which was backed by Cheshire East’s cabi­net at a meet­ing last month, other ser­vices – in­clud­ing day and home care – could also be pri­va­tised.

The coun­cil - which yes­ter­day an­nounced it will launch a six-week con­sul­ta­tion into the plans on Mon­day – has been ac­cused of fail­ing to pro­vide enough in­for­ma­tion about how ser­vices will be af­fected, whether the cost of ser­vices will in­crease, where they will be of­fered or if they’ll be avail­able in the town at all.

Coun Laura Jeuda, whose Mac­cles­field South ward in­cludes Hollins View on Clarke Ter­race, said: “Eight users of Hollins View have been in touch with me and have re­ceived no no­tice of con­sul­ta­tion or in­for­ma­tion about what’s hap­pen­ing.

“I can’t get any in­for­ma­tion from Cheshire East af­ter re­peat­edly ask­ing.”

“The fact that so many peo­ple have con­tin­u­ally asked for an­swers about the future of the site, and yet still not got any, says it all. There is real anger in the com­mu­nity that val­ued care fa­cil­i­ties are be­ing taken away.

“Peo­ple need to be placed close to their homes so that rel­a­tives can visit, and peo­ple need to be con­fi­dent in the care they or their loved ones are re­ceiv­ing.”

The coun­cil says the plans are in re­sponse to in­creas­ing de­mands for de­men­tia ser­vices.

Cheshire East has an es­ti­mated 5,402 res­i­dents aged over 65 liv­ing with de­men­tia, and it is pre­dicted that this will reach 6,710 by 2020.

There are also 4,500 car­ers who sup­port those with de­men­tia in the bor­ough.

One man, who cares for some­one with Alzheimer’s dis­ease and wishes to re­main anony­mous, crit­i­cised the lack of in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by the coun­cil.

He said: “We’re deeply con­cerned about th­ese de­vel­op­ments and the un­cer­tainty sur­round­ing them. We know they’re look­ing to off load de­men­tia care onto the pri­vate sec­tor and that’s it.

“We don’t know what lev­els of avail­abil­ity there will be, where it will be pro­vided if it’s not at Hollins View and the qual­ity of future care.

“My big­gest fear is that we won’t be able to get respite care in Mac­cles­field and will have to travel out­side the town.

“I’m not against pri­vatis­ing care per se but we just need to know what the plans are. It’s time they got their plans out in open as soon as pos­si­ble.

“As a carer I haven’t had any no­tice or let­ter from the coun­cil out­lin­ing their plans or that a con­sul­ta­tion is go­ing to take place. We’re deeply con­cerned and fright­ened that the coun­cil is go­ing to steam roller some­thing through.”

The coun­cil says peo­ple will be no­ti­fied af­ter the con­sul­ta­tion starts on Mon­day, Au­gust 25.

Ser­vice users will be of­fered one to one ses­sions with so­cial work­ers and coun­cil of­fers.

Speak­ing ex­clu­sively to the Ex­press on Tues­day, Janet Clowes, port­fo­lio holder for care and health in the com­mu­nity, as­sured res­i­dents that the price of care will not in­crease, but could not con­firm wether ser­vices will re­main in the town.

She said: “Peo­ple want dif­fer­ent things, some peo­ple want it close to their homes some peo­ple want dif­fer­ent types of respite care.

“As yet no firm de­ci­sions have been made and that is some­thing we will de­ter­mine from the con­sul­ta­tion that we will hold with ser­vice users.

“As part of the con­sul­ta­tion ex­er­cise we will de­ter­mine the num­ber of beds required to en­sure we have suf­fi­cient re­sources to meet as­sessed need.

“We also want to ex­plore how we can pro­vide car­ers with a much needed break from their car­ing role in a va­ri­ety of ways which will in­clude breaks that do not nec­es­sar­ily in­clude overnight stays in res­i­den­tial set­tings.

“The lo­ca­tion of the respite beds will be de­ter­mined af­ter the con­sul­ta­tion process has been com­pleted as we want to know what the pref­er­ences are of the peo­ple who cur­rently use the respite ser­vice at Hollins View.

“Cheshire East Coun­cil are not re­duc­ing their fund­ing of adult care ser­vices but is in­vest­ing ad­di­tional re­sources to pro­vide an en­hanced range of ser­vices for peo­ple with de­men­tia or other care needs through­out the bor­ough.”

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