TV star’s fears over Sheffield care changes

TV presenter Jayne Irving with her sister Cathy Irving, who lives at Handsworth care home
TV presenter Jayne Irving with her sister Cathy Irving, who lives at Handsworth care home
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A TV personality isfighting changes to Sheffield care homes – claiming they are ‘an attack on the vulnerable’.

Jayne Irving, who is originally from Sheffield, is backing a campaign fighting proposals to turn nine residential care homes for people with learning disabilities into ‘supported living’ facilities.

The former TV-AM presenter’s younger sister Cathy Irving, aged 55, has Down’s syndrome and disabilities which mean she cannot walk or talk. She lives in Handsworth Care Home.

Jayne fears the current high level of care provided will deteriorate under the changes, which are designed to save Sheffield Council an estimated £1 million a year.

And Jayne said her sister will be traumatised if her beloved carers of many years change.

The 58-year-old, now of London, said: “There is massive concern for what will happen to the quality of care.We have been told the signs of neglect to look out for.

“When my sister was moved to Handsworth from the Lightwood facility she was separated from a chap she was close to – she was so traumatised by the move she self-harmed.

“This is an attack on the most vulnerable – they are having this ridiculous consultation where they say ‘have your say’, but she can’t because she can’t speak.”

A petition containing 2,500 signatures has been gathered opposing the plans.

Coun Mary Lea, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for independent living, said tenants would have transition periods and their needs would be communicated to any new providers. Under the change ‘tenants’ would be able to access benefits.

She said: “We understand change is anxiety-provoking for everyone, we are aware of that.

“We’ve got robust monitoring processes in place.”