Council launch public consultation on closure of care home

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Derbyshire County Council has begun a public consultation on the future of a Cotmanhay care home, which could be forced to close by rising costs.

The council is proposing to shut Hazelwood Home for Older People on Skeavingtons Lane, and is giving people opportunity to have their say on its future.

During the 12 week consultation period, all those who would be affected by the closure, including residents, their families, staff, healthcare providers and local people, are being invited to discuss the plans with county council staff.

Councillor Jean Wharmby, who is responsible for adult care services, said: “The quality of care provided at Hazelwood is very high but the building itself needs a lot of work to bring it up to the standard of other county council-run homes and care centres and would cost a lot to repair.

“Funding the work would take up a huge proportion of the budget available for work on all our homes.”

She added: “Not all of our homes can be upgraded to a standard we think people expect and deserve so we are having to look at all the options.”

Significant repairs and refurbishment are needed to improve the home, estimated at almost £1.7million.

Income would also be lost during any temporary closure while the work takes place, which could take up to two years to complete, potentially adding a further £489,000 to the bill.

Given the escalating cost of the work, the county council is now considering closing the home where there are currently 25 elderly residents.

Letters informing residents and their relatives of the start of the consultation have been sent out and meetings including individual discussions will be held shortly with everyone who may be affected by the proposal.

The consultation runs until Thursday, December 21, and all the views given will be taken into account when a report is written for the county council’s Cabinet to consider.

It is likely the decision will be made on the future of Hazelwood by Cabinet in February 2018.

If the Cabinet decides to close Hazelwood then residents would move to alternative care in spring 2018.

Coun Wharmby added: “If, following the consultation, a decision is made to close Hazelwood, we will work closely with residents and their families to find them the right place to live.

“We will be with them every step of the way.”

For more details on the consultation and how to submit contributions to the process, see www.derbyshire.gov.uk/hazelwood.