Talks to start on care future
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.”