Care homes to close under revamp

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A RADICAL overhaul of health services for the elderly will see two care homes closed after councillors agreed to pursue the biggest shake-up of the sector in York for half a century.

Senior members of the council’s cabinet have agreed proposals to shut Oliver House and Fordlands Elderly Persons’ Homes by the end of March.

The closures are part of a plan to replace outdated facilities which were built in the 1960s with state-of-the-art care homes.

York Council’s cabinet member for health, housing and adult social services, Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing, said: “We recognise that these are 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. Our main priority now is supporting the residents and staff through their moves.”

The decision to shut the two homes was taken at a meeting on Tuesday evening following consultations with the 28 residents and relatives of the affected sites.

A council spokeswoman stressed there will be no redundancies as staff will be shifted to work in the council’s other care homes. The residents will also move to other care homes in the city.

Councillors also backed a three to four-year phased programme of work to build new residential care developments on the existing sites at Fordlands and Haxby Hall and a new site at Lowfields in Acomb.

The council agreed in July last year to conduct a city-wide review of its nine residential care homes amid predictions that the number of people aged over 65 is expected to increase by nearly a quarter in less than a decade.

The proposed new structure could see as many as 180 high dependency beds and 20 respite beds provided to help cope with the need for more specialist care.