Group started for worried relatives

An Ilkeston woman is spearheading a group set up to fight the possible closure of West Hallam’s Beechcroft Care Home and others in the county.

Derbyshire County Council is proposing to replace many of its local authority care homes with affordable one and two-bedroom ‘extra care’ apartments with support and on-site care at all times.

But Gill Ferguson, of Charlotte Street, Ilkeston, is worried that her 91-year-old mother Joyce Wood, who suffers from severe dementia, will not survive the upset of being moved to another home.

Now Mrs Ferguson, 66, is appealing for relatives of other patients in Derbyshire care homes to join with those from Beechcroft and voice their concerns.

“ Most of the elderly people at Beechcroft cannot sustain themselves independently.

“I think prime candidates for the extra care apartments would be people like myself and my husband, who is 71.

“But we don’t want to go and live in a flat with no garden where we can’t have a dog. So who is going to live in them?”

Mrs Ferguson and other Beechcroft relatives feel many of the residents need round-the-clock supervision simply to feed and hydrate themselves and that the extra care apartments are more suitable for semi-independent elderly people.

Carol Hart, Conservative county councillor for West Hallam, said: “Nobody knows what’s happening yet – we have to hold consultations first.

“A lot of the homes are not fit for purpose – they are not equipped to cope with the new machinery which can be used now.

“Residents will be assessed to see what they need and it may be that they are placed in a new-build care home with 24-7 care.”

To contact Gill Ferguson email her at:

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