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Next Step To Close 6 Surrey Care Homes

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

GMB Protest As Surrey County Council Takes Next Step On March 10th To Close Six Care Homes In Surrey

Recommendations suggest that Surrey County Council officers have simply not listened to the concerns of the public or staff says GMB.

GMB, the union for care workers and Save Our Services, organised a protest demonstration outside Surrey County Hall in Kingston upon Thames on 10th March when the Council cabinet took the next step to close six Surrey care homes. See notes to editors for earlier GMB press release.

The recommendations for cabinet meeting on the 10th March are as follows:

It is recommended that the Cabinet agree:

1.   To close residential care provision by Surrey County Council at Brockhurst.

2.   To close residential care provision by Surrey County Council at Cobgates.

3.   To close residential care provision by Surrey County Council at Dormers.

4.   To close residential care provision by Surrey County Council at Longfield.

5.   To close residential care provision by Surrey County Council at Park Hall.

6.   To close residential care provision by Surrey County Council at Pinehurst.

7.   That a phased implementation programme to move people to alternative services is undertaken, which must take account of best practice and be guided by individual assessments of those affected, including carers.

8.   To identify suitable alternative services for each affected person in those homes closing.

9.   That further work is undertaken for each property to fully evaluate potential alternative use to meet future needs for adult social care.

10. That a full staff consultation begins, with the objective, where possible, of retaining existing staff skills and knowledge.

Frank Minal, Regional Organiser for the GMB, said “These recommendations suggest that Surrey County Council officers have simply not listened to the concerns of the public or staff.  Apparently some 400 responses were made to the council's consultation process according to their cabinet report.  The majority of responses called on the council to keep the six remaining care homes open and refurbish them to a higher standard.

Nevertheless, council chiefs are recommending to close all six remaining care homes under direct Surrey County Council control.

GMB also made a substantive submission in opposition to the council's preferred option. The key concerns that the GMB's response points to are:

The potential of creating a two tier elderly care provision based on wealth in light of the introduction of the care bill, ensuring that if elderly people live at home, they get the care and social interaction they need and the potential financial impact of closing the homes on the taxpayer in the long run.

The impact of the Care Bill and funding caps for supportive care will mean if the council doesn't have its own care homes in place it will be paying more in the long term to the independent sector.

Financial prudence for the future seems wasted on Surrey County Council chiefs.  I have no doubt that the introduction of the Care Bill will mean an increase in the cost of beds in the independent and commercial sector.

It makes common sense to maintain a council provision to keep costs down, not only for the council but for the taxpayer.  Add that to the uncertainty of finding suitable provision for those elderly people in the 6 homes affected and the long term impact this will have on the 437 workers currently employed or may be made redundant.  Care workers are very concerned that elderly residents could be put at risk if the council press ahead with closing these six care homes.

For Surrey County Council, it's been closure from the start.  They still haven't listened to any pleadings or representations made, so why is the finding completely a blanket decision, than a mixed outcome?  The analysis in the council's report lacks the credible financial data for it to be taken seriously.  GMB and Save Our Services have organised a demonstration outside the council offices on the 10th March from 12.30 - 2pm when the council cabinet is due to make its decision.  We must ensure that councillors listen to their constituents and their staff."

End

Contact:  Frank Minal GMB Regional Organiser Tel: 07713 079 930 or 0208 397 8881 or GMB press office 07921 2898880 or Email: frank.minal@gmb.org.uk

Notes to editors

GMB press release December 2015

GMB PROTEST AT COUNTY HALL ON SAT 6TH DECEMBER OVER PREFERRED OPTION BY SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL TO CLOSE SIX CARE HOMES

 

Care workers are very concerned that elderly residents could be put at risk if the Council press ahead with closing these six care homes says GMB

GMB is holding a protest demonstration outside Surrey County Hall in Kingston on Saturday 6th December from 12 noon to 2pm over the council’s proposal, as a preferred option, to close six elderly care homes in Surrey. See notes to editors for copy of GMB press release in October on the issue.

The homes under threat of closure are Brockhurst in Ottershaw, Cobgates in Farnham, Dormers in Caterham, Longfield in Cranleigh, Park Hall in Reigate and Pinehurst in Camberley. There are a total of 437 jobs in these six homes that are potentially at risk of redundancy.

GMB representing the care workers in these homes has now published its response to Surrey County Council over the future of these six remaining council care homes. The report is attached as a pdf at the foot of this release.

The details of the protest are as follows:

From 12 noon to 2pm Saturday 6th December,

outside Surrey County Hall,

Penrhyn Road,

Kingston upon Thames. KT1 2DN.

Frank Minal GMB Organiser said "Relatives, residents and care workers are angered by the preferred option supported by councillors at the full cabinet meeting on the 21 October. We have visited all six care homes spoken to staff and listened to relatives concerns and produced a GMB report in response to the council.

The GMB report points to the fact that the council needs a more considered approach before making any rash decisions over the future of the six care homes. The direct result of closure would mean 437 potential redundancies. The council has published three different dates for the end of the consultation which is confusing for everyone that wants to respond.

 

The key concerns the GMB's response points to are: creating a two tier elderly care provision based on wealth, ensuring that if elderly people live at home that get the care and social interaction they need and the potential financial impact of closing the homes on the taxpayer in the long run.

The Impact of the Care Bill and funding caps for supportive care will mean if the council doesn't have its own care homes in place it will be paying more in the long term to the independent sector.

Care workers are very concerned that elderly residents could be put at risk if the Council press ahead with closing these six care homes. “

End

Notes to editors

Copy of GMB press release of Friday 17th October 2014

GMB To Lobby Surrey County Council Meeting On Tues 21st Oct Over Threat To Close Six Elderly Care Homes With A Loss Of 437 Jobs 

There is shock that the council’s preferred option is to close the homes before a full consultation has been carried out in the community

GMB members will lobby Surrey County Councillors before a council meeting on Tuesday 21st October 2014 over the council’s proposal, as a preferred option, to close six elderly care homes in Surrey.

The homes under threat of closure are Brockhurst in Ottershaw, Cobgates in Farnham, Dormers in Caterham, Longfield in Cranleigh, Park Hall in Reigate and Pinehurst in Camberley. There are a total of 437 jobs in these six homes.

The options identified by Surrey County Council are: stay as is, extend and redevelop existing homes, sell or lease homes to other providers.

The details of the lobby are as follows:

at 1pm Tuesday 21st October,

outside Surrey County Hall,

Penrhyn Road,

Kingston upon Thames. KT1 2DN.

GMB is inviting the public and relatives to join us on the lobby.

Frank Minal GMB Regional Organiser said “Councillors are meeting to consider the start of a consultation process.  Advance documents exhibited on their website already have a preferred option to close these six care homes.

GMB is concerned that this proposal will lead to a number of unwanted outcomes, distress to elderly residents, a direct loss of emergency elderly care provision and 437 jobs losses.

GMB as well as residents and relatives are shocked that the council’s preferred option is to close the homes before a full consultation has been carried out in the community. Such an exercise could be used to develop consensus for a preference could then be directed by the community and interested parties”.

Ends

 

 

 

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