20 jobs at risk as Sheffield care homes face axe

Hurlfield View,Gleadless Common
Hurlfield View,Gleadless Common
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TWO dementia care homes in Sheffield are set to be axed, putting 20 jobs at risk.

The centres - Norbury, in Norwood, and Bole Hill View in Crookes - have been recommended for closure after a consultation was held on the future of Sheffield’s services for dementia sufferers.

A third home, Hurlfield View in Gleadless Common, will remain open under the plan, with services transferred there from Norbury.

Sheffield Council says the closures will save £835,000.

A total of 110 staff work at the three centres and 20 will not be accommodated in the new structure.

Coun Mary Lea, the council’s cabinet member for health, care and independent living, said the closures were part of a move towards providing ‘flexible and personalised support’ for people with dementia, including more care for patients in their homes.

“We do need to save money and find more innovative ways in delivering services.”

“Keeping buildings open that are underused, or do not meet the changing needs of local people with dementia, is not a good use of ever-decreasing funding.”

She said the closures were being proposed against a background of ‘savage’ cuts by the Government. About £19m is currently invested in services for dementia patients and carers by Sheffield Council.

Proposals are being put to a cabinet meeting next Wednesday - if approved, Norbury will shut by the end of March 2013, and Bole Hill View by the end of March 2014, subject to further consultation.

Coun Lea said a ‘community team’ will deliver support in patients’ homes and transport laid on for people to travel to Gleadless. Services may be provided in buildings such as church halls.

Clive Clarke, deputy chief executive of Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust, said: “We want to reassure people that no-one will receive less support than they currently get, although they might get support in a different way.”

Crookes Lib Dem Coun Rob Frost, said: “Bole Hill View is a beloved community asset that provides a vital service to vulnerable, elderly people. Vulnerable people in the west of the city will have to travel miles to experience the same provision of care.”

He said more than 500 people have signed a petition.

Hillsborough and Brightside MP David Blunkett said: “I am supportive of imaginative ways of reconfiguring services, but it is vital that we not only maintain assistance to the individuals needing services but essential support to their carers and loved ones.

“Adequate transport, greater support at home and continuing consultation with families will be essential if these changes are not to leave the most hard-pressed families, particularly in the north of the city, without the help they need.”

Under the proposals, Hurlfield would be expanded to add a 20-bed respite facility to its services.

Mr Clarke said: “We’re planning not to make any compulsory redundancies at this stage. We will work around redeploying people.”

Howard Waddicor, commissioning officer for adult social care, said: “We acknowledge that some people will be very unhappy, but what’s coming in the future is worth that change.”