Home closure threat residents to be assessed

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EVERY resident at two specialist dementia nursing homes threatened with closure is set to be assessed to find out if their needs can be met elsewhere - though battling relatives remain sceptical.

The board of NHS Sheffield will hear an update on the plans for Birch Avenue and Woodland View nursing homes when it meets today.

A consultation exercise is under way with those affected by the proposals for the Chapeltown and Norton-based facilities, which will be forced to close if the primary care trust pulls the £2.8m in top-up funding it provides.

The PCT claims there is no evidence the extra cash gives any enhanced level of care that could not be provided elsewhere.

The proposals have been given the provisional green light, although no final decision will be taken until the end of the consultation period in May.

NHS Sheffield has now pledged every resident will receive a full assessment of their care needs.

The report said: “In order to assess the full implication of the withdrawal of the top-up funding, we will re-assess the care needs of each resident to understand whether those care needs can be met within a care home with nursing for people with dementia attracting standard fee charges, or whether a place within a care home funded to provide ‘enhanced’ care would need to be provided.”

The assessments will be carried out by nurses from NHS Sheffield in conjunction with staff at the homes.

Sally Hartley, whose mother Rosemary Arber is a resident in Woodland View, said relatives would ask to be present when assessments take place.

She said: “We are obviously not convinced. Our greatest concern is they will simply downplay their needs and say they can be met elsewhere - something with which we entirely disagree. We have said we need to be there so we can also put our feelings across.”