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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Elderly care home closure on the cards in York

City of York Council

7:29am 10th January 2012

Members of City of York Council's Cabinet will consider proposals to progress the new vision for care for older people in York..

Councillors agreed last month to progress plans to begin a three to four year phased programme to build new residential care developments on the existing sites at Fordlands and Haxby Hall and a new site at Lowfields. The decision followed an extensive citywide consultation, which showed widespread support for the council's vision for future care.

At their forthcoming meeting, and following further one-to-one consultation with the 28 residents and relatives of the affected homes, members will consider a recommendation to close Oliver House and Fordlands Elderly Persons' Homes by the end of March 2012. If a decision is taken to close the two homes the residents affected have indentified their preferred place mainly in other council homes and all will be offered alternative care many with staff they know following them to their new home.

The closure of Fordlands will allow the site to be demolished and prepared for the construction of a new 55-bed residential care facility. This is in line with feedback submitted to Cabinet after the citywide consultation and the desire for the council to fund, build and operate the new care home.

Staff have also been consulted on the proposals. If a decision is taken to close Fordlands and Oliver the staff at the two homes have identified alternative posts within the council's other homes and therefore no staff will be made redundant as a result of any closures.

The capital cost of building a new care home at Fordlands and Haxby Hall are estimated to be £3.7 million each, which includes build costs and planning, architect, quantity surveyor and project management fees. The savings associated with the closure of Fordlands and Oliver House are expected to produce £1.1 million in the full financial year 2012/13.

A further report to Cabinet in April will include detailed financial modelling and options for affording the overall modernisation programme on the three sites.

Members of the Cabinet will also be asked to support a soft market testing exercise for the care village on the Lowfield site. If agreed, the exercise would be carried out throughout January and February 2012 to gather ideas and experience from developers and providers of existing care villages to inform the options and final plans for an innovative state of the art care village on the six acre site.  These options and final plans will be presented to Cabinet in April.

Councillor Tracey Simpson Laing, Cabinet member for Health, Housing and Adult Social Services, City of York Council, said:

"We recognise that we are faced with tough decisions that have a significant impact on people's lives and we do not take them lightly. However, we remain committed to ensuring that we can provide high quality residential care that meets the changing needs of older people in the future."

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