Campaign urges relatives and staff to get involved to save Derbyshire care homes

Care home residents, relatives and staff are being asked to join the fight to save Derbyshire’s council-run facilities from the threat of closure.

Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 11:50 am
Save Our Care Homes campaigner Adrian Mather with Cllr Paul Niblock and Cllr Ed Fordham collecting signatures in Chesterfield Market.

Last week, the Save Our Care Homes campaign was launched, alongside a petition to oppose the proposal to close seven care homes for the elderly, as well as the perceived threat to the remaining 16 facilities currently operated by Derbyshire County Council.

The authority claims the seven facilities, including one in New Mills, need £27million of refurbishments, and even if they were not to be closed permanently, residents would need to be relocated temporarily while the works were carried out.

Councillor Ed Fordham, who led a group of county councillors from all parties to halt a Cabinet decision to proceed with a consultation on the matter, will formally present an objection to a Derbyshire County Council improvement and scrutiny committee on December 6.

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He said: “I have launched a petition and in a week we have already secured over 1,000 signatures – but we need more.

“I will be presenting a case to the council that will demonstrate that the way this review is being conducted is ill-timed, cruel and callous.

“This issue has already been considered and the proposed plan was rejected – coming forwards with the same approach again is truly nasty.”

He continued: “As we approach new and repeated constraints to handle the pandemic, where many residents in care homes can only be visited by one person and relatives are quite literally dying without their families next to them – we are reopening the threat of closure.”

He explained that during the presentation to the scrutiny committee, the councillors opposing the care homes closure will seek to layout how refurbishment is a viable option in each of the homes while the current occupancy rate is low, ruling out the necessity of closure.

Coun Fordham urged anyone wishing to get involved in the campaign to email [email protected] in confidence.

To sign the Save Our Care Homes petition, visit bit.ly/SaveOurCareHomes.

Campainers will be gathering outside County Hall, in Matlock, at 1.15pm, prior to a meeting of full council to lobby the authority over the proposals.

Among them will be members of Chesterfield Trades Union Council who are urging members to get involved and contact their local county councillor regarding the matter.