ALLOWING the closure of two specialist nursing homes for people with dementia would be a “black mark” on the city of Sheffield, a concerned governor of the city’s mental health care trust said.
Nev Wheeler OBE, from the Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, was speaking out at Sheffield Council’s Health and Community Care Scrutiny Board where the closure of Woodland View in Norton and Birch Avenue in Chapeltown was again on the agenda.
NHS Sheffield, the city’s primary care trust, has proposed withdrawing £2.8m in ‘top up’ funding it currently provides the homes. If they lose the cash, the homes would be forced to close.
The proposals are currently subject to a consultation period with affected residents and their relatives, with a final decision expected in June.
Campaigners battling to save the homes - which they say provide specialist care for their ‘challenging’ loved ones which they cannot find elsewhere in the private sector - have collected thousands of signatures opposing the moves, and turned out again yesterday to attend the meeting.
Among those addressing councillors was Mr Wheeler, a representative from the trust which staffs the home. He said: “If these places close, it is a black mark for the city.
“I will not lose my pride in Sheffield, but it will certainly be dented.
“A lot of people put a lot of work into these care homes.
“I think the council should be making a real push to defend against the closure of them.”
Simon Kirk, director of strategy and transition at the PCT, said assessments would now be made of each of the 100 residents of the two homes to determine their special needs and the cost of providing care that meets them.