Opposition challenges Hollins View closure
LABOUR councillors are challenging the council’s controversial decision to close Hollins View care home.
It follows proposals by Cheshire East Council’s cabinet to close the Macclesfield respite care service on December 31 along with Lincoln House in Crewe.
Respite care for dementia and long term-illness will instead be provided by the independent sector, including private care homes.
The proposals were due to be rubber stamped at a full council meeting on July 23. But now the Labour group of councillors have ‘ called-in’ the decision to enable the Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee to review and scrutinise it.
The move also buys more time for campaigners who have vowed to keep fighting the council.
Coun Janet Jackson, Labour councillor for Macclesfield Central, said: “The planned closure of Hollins View is a terrible situation.
“We do not believe that there is enough provision in the private sector which is where the council expects carers to find respite.
“Taking away such a valuable service will put pressure of carers who are in desperate need of respite and breaks.
“They save the council a lot of money. If we make those carers ill the council will have to pay twice.”
The Macclesfield-based care home, which has been described by users as a ‘lifeline’, provides respite care for frail and vulnerable patients with dementia and long-term illnesses to give them valuable time away and their families and give carers a break.
Campaigners had hoped they had saved the home from closure last December after council bosses performed a U-turn on their previous plans to move respite service out of Hollins View following a Macclesfield Express campaign.
The council – which currently spends £1.3m per year on respite services – claims it can secure care in the independent sector at half the current cost and more than sufficient capacity is available within the private sector.
Macclesfield MP David Rutley has criticised the council’s handling of the proposals, saying there were too many unanswered questions.
A carer, whose father has Alzheimer’s and attends Hollins View for respite on a regular basis said: “Our family is extremely worried about the situation. Without Hollins View my mother wouldn’t get a break. She often goes for weeks on end without a decent night’s sleep and is elderly herself.
“The council has told us that they have nothing in place, have no idea what will be provided and can’t tell us anything about the future.
“I find this astonishing that the council can make such an important decision which affects people’s lives so dramatically without having a back-up plan.
“We’ve tried to get respite care in the private sector in Macclesfield but nowhere provides it at present. My mother is very upset. I would urge the council to provide answers to the key issues of cost, availability and location as soon as possible.
“We’ve heard one Alzhemier’s sufferer in Macc is currently having to go to Chapel-en-leFrith for care. It would not be possible for my father to get there due to his condition or for my mother to visit.
“Michael Jones has promised the same level of care will be provided in Macclesfield. I hope he sticks to this promise and doesn’t come up with excuses later in the year.”