Health Secretary pledges support for care in city

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HEALTH Secretary Andrew Lansley spoke of his plans for improved partnership working between health and social care sectors on a visit to Sheffield.

Mr Lansley was not aware of the details of the proposed closure of Birch Avenue and Woodland View specialist dementia nursing homes – which are destined to shut because of a likely withdrawal of £2.8m of NHS funding – but said dementia care fell into this vision.

Visiting the city’s Children’s Hospital, he said: “We are committed to providing resources aimed at improving the relationship between health and social care. This will involve more support when people leave hospital and extra money from the NHS for combined health and social needs. Behind this, we are working with local authorities to look at how we can secure better long-term measures for these care needs.”

Relatives of vulnerable residents at Birch Avenue in Chapeltown and Woodland View in Norton are fighting the plans, which centre around NHS Sheffield’s provisional decision to withdraw the ‘top up’ funding they currently provide.

The primary care trust says the homes are twice as expensive as other facilities they claim provide the same care.

But relatives of residents disagree and are worried about where their loved ones will go if they close and the effect it could have on their well-being.