Staff and residents reduced to tears
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