Staff and res­i­dents re­duced to tears

Western Mail - - WM2 -

ON WED­NES­DAY, Septem­ber 13, mem­bers of the Save Bod­lon­deb Steer­ing Group were made aware that Ceredi­gion So­cial Ser­vices had con­tacted a num­ber of res­i­dents’ fam­i­lies, invit­ing them to at­tend assess­ments of their loved ones’ care needs at less than 24 hours’ no­tice.

Late af­ter­noon on Thurs­day, Septem­ber 14, a Save Bod­lon­deb cam­paigner re­ceived a text mes­sage from an upset rel­a­tive which said that a coun­cil of­fi­cial, in­volved in co-or­di­nat­ing the con­sul­ta­tion process, had re­vealed that Bod­lon­deb would close at the end of Septem­ber. The rel­a­tive fur­ther stated that the of­fi­cial could not tell her where her mother would be placed.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Save Bod­lon­deb Steer­ing Group con­tacted a mem­ber of the home’s man­age­ment team, who de­clined to comment.

A more se­nior coun­cil of­fi­cial would only com­mit to the home op­er­at­ing un­til the end of the con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod (Septem­ber 25), re­fus­ing to comment on any other time-scale for its op­er­a­tion and blam­ing neg­a­tive press cov­er­age of the pro­posed clo­sure for caus­ing res­i­dents dis­tress.

The Save Bod­lon­deb Cam­paign un­der­stands that four res­i­dents have been re­lo­cated in the past 24 hours, two were due to be re­lo­cated yes­ter­day (Fri­day) and that assess­ments are planned and on­go­ing for the re­main­ing res­i­dents.

This un­con­firmed in­for­ma­tion was cor­rob­o­rated by upset rel­a­tives who spoke to the picket, formed in re­sponse to these rev­e­la­tions, out­side Bod­lon­deb.

Rel­a­tives spoke of staff and res­i­dents alike be­ing in tears by this sud­den turn of events.

Com­ment­ing on this, Save Bod­lon­deb cam­paigner Di­nah Mulholland said: “If this is the case, it is fur­ther proof of Ceredi­gion coun­cil’s ar­ro­gant ex­pe­di­ency. They ap­pear to be mov­ing the res­i­dents out of the home as if they are cat­tle.

“The fam­i­lies are nat­u­rally ex­tremely upset and the ru­mour that the home is to close be­fore the con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod is over, if proved true, shows once and for all what a sham this con­sul­ta­tion is.

“I have ad­vised the steer­ing group to seek legal ad­vice on whether Ceredi­gion coun­cil’s ac­tions com­pro­mise the le­gal­ity of their con­sul­ta­tion process.

“And I say to the coun­cil – do not un­der­es­ti­mate the strength of feel­ing about Bod­lon­deb and our other pub­licly owned res­i­den­tial care homes in Ceredi­gion. We will fight for them all.”

The small picket in­tends to re­turn each day, to peace­fully dis­play “Save Bod­lon­deb” plac­ards un­til this mat­ter is re­solved.

The Save Bod­lon­deb Steer­ing Group feels that this cal­lous dis­re­gard for the wel­fare of vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple un­der its care, the upset that this has caused res­i­dents and their fam­i­lies, and the cyn­i­cal ex­ploita­tion of a sup­posed pe­riod of con­sul­ta­tion show Ceredi­gion coun­cil up in the worst pos­si­ble light.

Those re­spon­si­ble for de­cid­ing upon this egre­gious course of ac­tion have real cause to con­sider their po­si­tions as elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives, sup­pos­edly serv­ing a com­mu­nity which nei­ther cares for nor con­dones their meth­ods of work­ing.

Ge­orge Hol­loway Save Bod­lon­deb Steer­ing Group

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