Doncaster Council announces plans to keep elderly in their homes on back of proposed care home closures

Members of the public is at Doncaster Council to hand over a petition about the closure of care homes. Picture: Andrew Roe
Members of the public is at Doncaster Council to hand over a petition about the closure of care homes. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Radical plans to shake up how Doncaster looks after its vulnerable pensioners look set to be brought in.

But proposals to look after those needing care in their own homes have been sent back to the people who drew them up for fine tuning before they can be put into practice.

Doncaster Council’s cabinet met yesterday to discuss the ‘Help to Live at Home’ report to provide home support.

The proposal is for the borough to be split into four geographical ‘home support delivery zones’, with care providers having five year contracts run them.

Those needing care would haven their own budget, probably starting next spring.

But the cabinet raised concerns four zones were not enough and questioned what would happen if one of the zones failed to provide adequate care.

Mayor Ros Jones said: “This is the right thing for Doncaster, generally. It’s about giving flexibility to service users and providing a better quality of care, but I don’t think anyone is convinced four zones is the right amount.”

She also said she was concerned about how specialist care would be provided.

David Hamilton, director of adults, health and wellbeing, said four zones had been decided on after consultations with professionals.

He said: “There are pros and cons and we accept that.”

“We want to refocus the care we provide on personalisation and re-enabling people to do things for themselves in their own homes.”

In the last four months the local authority has admitted an average of 47 people per month into long-term residential care and the council is paying for about 875 over 65s to live in care homes.

Councillors decided to move 134 residents into privately-run homes to save £1.9 million, despite protests.

Officers say the costs of long-term residential care should be reduced.

Eileen Harrington, a leading member of the DonMentia charity, said: “It is in everyone’s best interest to keep the person at home as far and as long as possible for many reasons apart from the cost implications.”