Concern over care homes

The daughter of an elderly resident affected by the possible closure of care homes in County Durham is appealing for councillors to leave things as they are. Pauline Robinson says she'd fear for her ninety three year old mother's health if she was forced to move.

Doris Ayre has lived at Newtown House in Stanhope for the past year and a half. It is one of five homes under review as the council tries to save money. 83 residents and more than 150 jobs could be affected. Durham County Council has to cut £222 million from its budget by 2017, £20 million more than it expected.

The other homes are: Cheveley House, in Belmont; Feryemount, in Ferryhill; Grampian House, in Peterlee; and Mendip House, in Chester-le-Street.

The three options are being considered are:

Keeping the homes and paying for costly repairs to the properties

Closing them and finding alternative accommodation for residents

Seeing if any other organisation would take over the running of them.

At a time of significant financial constraints, we need to consider whether our in-house residential homes are fit for purpose and value for money. It is extremely important that when making any decision, we consider the views of not only of those currently living in them but also their carers, family members, staff and other relevant organisations and individuals."

– Cllr Morris Nicholls, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for Adult Services

A three month public consultation period starts on Thursday 17th October. In 2010, there were protests outside County Hall in Durham when councillors voted to close seven council run care homes and campaigners are warning they will fight the proposals this time round.