Op­po­si­tion chal­lenges Hollins View clo­sure

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

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.”

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