Closing care centres would be ‘ludicrous’

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HEALTH unions have attacked a council and NHS officials’ recommendation that two Sheffield care centres for elderly people be closed.

Sheffield Council’s cabinet will meet next Wednesday, April 11, to approve the closure of Sevenfields resource centre in Wisewood and Hazelhurst resource centre in Jordanthorpe.

Tomorrow members of the public will get a final chance to influence the decision at a full council debate on the matter, forced because more than 6,300 people signed a petition against the closures.

But NHS bosses and council officers have recommended the two centres - which provide intermediate and long-term residential care - be closed because the buildings are ‘not fit for purpose’.

Trade unions representing the 43 staff who could lose their job said the recommendation was ‘ludicrous’.

Sheffield GMB organiser Peter Davies said: “The centres provide vital services and are working to 85 per cent capacity for most of the year.

“To say they are not fit for purpose is ludicrous. This is simply a cut and the least we expect is to be told is the truth behind it.”

Charlie Carruth, Sheffield organiser for Unison, said: “The council is out of touch with how people truly feel about these services.

“With NHS budgets coming under incredible pressure, it is simply the wrong time for Sheffield to take away its publicly-provided respite care.”

Readers reacted furiously after The Star broke news of the recommendation on Saturday.

One reader posted on The Star’s website: “This is an absolute disgrace - my mother was fortunate enough to spend six weeks in Sevenfields when everywhere else ignored our pleas for help.

“I don’t know what we would have done without them.”

Another posted: “It is not Hazelhurst and Sevenfields that are ‘not fit for purpose’, but the council whose job it is to serve its citizens.”