Sheffield council is pressing ahead with plans to de-commission the last two intermediate care centres that provide re-enablement services to adults aged 65 and over who have recently had a stay in hospital and need help to regain their confidence to return home. They also act as assessment centres providing access to good quality care.
The council wants to pass this service over to the private sector who will run it as a business with profit being the ultimate goal, which will in turn take away the quality that is currently provided at Hazlehurst and Sevenfields.
The council uses the excuse that this service needs to be provided in a unit that is nurse-led. If so, people who have greater nursing needs will be put before those who require less nursing intervention leading to longer stays in the private sector, creating a bottleneck and preventing people returning home – giving more financial gain to the private sector.
Nurses are not trained to provide re-enablement activities, so how will this help them maintain their independence and support the appropriate pathway of discharge planning.
Staff in the resource centres are thoroughly trained to carry out these activities leading to users having therapy 24/7.
Health colleagues who work in partnership with these centres say that this service does not work in the private sector due to staff not being trained, leading to residents becoming permanent.
Council leader Julie Dore wrote to all voters asking for ideas on how we could save money, stating that she would protect services for vulnerable people, such as the elderly. It appears she has gone back on her word and is actively supporting plans to transfer re-enablement services into private hands.
Could this be because councillors and the council leader lack the knowledge and experience in this excellent service that these two doomed care homes provide and they, the councillors, does not have the confidence to challenge senior officers of the council who are pressing for the closure of these two centres?
If the council plans to go ahead and transfer services to the private sector then this can be seen as a savage attack on vulnerable elderly people of Sheffield. So, people of Sheffield, be worried about your loved ones from now on.
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