Some care homes ‘will not close’

Cllr Clare Neill visits Iris Hinds, 79, at Beechcroft Care Home, West Hallam.
Cllr Clare Neill visits Iris Hinds, 79, at Beechcroft Care Home, West Hallam.

Worried elderly folk have been assured by the councillor now in charge of adult care that at least some county council care homes run will stay open.

Since her election to Derbyshire County Council last month, Long Eaton councillor Clare Neill has been visiting homes threatened with closure, including Beechcroft in West Hallam.

The Labour councillor said she will ‘look closely’ at the previous Conservative-run council’s plan to replace every county council residential home with a network of 1,600 ‘extra care’ apartments.

The move, announced last year, caused upset among residents and their families over the disruption it would cause.

“I am committed to trying to keep at least some of our care homes open,” said Cllr Neill.

“This is going to be very difficult, given that a contract to begin to replace them with extra care apartments was signed just before the election.”

She has been speaking to residents and their families and plans to visit all the homes affected, including Hazlewood in Cotmanhay and Ladycross House in Sandiacre.

“I want to consider all the options available and as part of this I want to experience what’s on offer first hand and meet people who will be affected by any future decisions,” she added.

A petition earlier this year against the closures gathered more than 500 signatures in two hours in Ilkeston Market Place.