200 jobs at risk from homes axe

Norbury  Resource Centre,Crabtree Road
Norbury Resource Centre,Crabtree Road
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THREE homes which provide specialist care for dementia sufferers in Sheffield are facing closure - putting more than 200 jobs at risk.

The Star has exclusively learned the council is proposing to decommission three dementia resource centres which provide residential, respite, community and day care.

Norbury resource centre in Norwood, Bolehill View resource centre in Crookes and Hurlfield View in Gleadless Common, could all close if the proposals go ahead.

The homes are managed by Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of the council, which will save £385,000 from the closures.

The proposal - in a budget approved by the Labour council’s cabinet - was met with shock by stunned city patient groups, charities and trade unions, none of whom was informed.

Jacqui Milner, aged 68, secretary of Sheffield Pensioners’ Action Group, said: “It seems it is the most vulnerable people in this city who are being hit the hardest.”

The council has already approved separate plans to close two other elderly care centres - Sevenfields in Wisewood and Hazelhurst at Jordanthorpe - in a move fiercely opposed by pensioners’ groups and trade unions.

Last year two specialist dementia nursing homes funded by the Primary Care Trust - Woodland View in Norton and Birch Avenue in Chapeltown - were saved from planned closure after a campaign to keep them open.

The council’s report said the three centres earmarked for the axe were ‘no longer fit for purpose’ and the service could be more cheaply provided in the private sector. The homes employ more than 200 people.

Councillors are planning to launch a public consultation.

The report said: “The Sheffield Health and Social Care provision is in buildings which are no longer fit for purpose and cost twice as much as the equivalent services in the independent sector.

“The dementia programme board priority is to develop an integrated model of support that better reflects the needs and aspirations of people with dementia and their carers.

“Following consultation it is proposed therefore to decommission the existing resource centre provision, and there will be a process of staged reprovision so people have access to the services they need.”

The budget proposals were approved by the Labour council cabinet last week, but will not come into force until they have been debated and passed by a full meeting of Sheffield Council on March 9.