Families in legal threat over council’s plans to close seven care homes

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CAMPAIGNERS HAVE launched legal action in the fight to save care homes in Doncaster from closure.

Families of residents and service users claim that the local authority’s plan to axe seven homes and four adult education centres is ‘unlawful’ and puts some of the most vulnerable members of society at risk. Measures have been drawn up to help Doncaster Council make £109m in savings over the next three years.

The campaign group has enlisted the help of lawyers from Irwin Mitchell and is threatening to apply for a judicial review unless the council have a last-minute change of heart ahead of a formal decision next month. Leaders insist the option is still being examined, but there is evidence closures had been drafted in to the proposed budget for the next financial year as early as February.

George Lemasurier, whose 84-year-old mother Edith is a resident of closure-threatened Gattison House, said: “My mother is clearly old and vulnerable and it would be very distressing for her to have to move to a different home away from her close friends and with potentially different staff.

“She has dementia among other medical conditions and I would be extremely concerned about how a move would impact on her health. We’ve been looking for private care homes that operate to the same standard but we are struggling to find anything. We’re concerned for what might happen in the future.”

Joan Beck, Doncaster Council’s director of adult services, said: “No decisions have been made on the future of council-run care homes and day centres, as we modernise these service.

“We are evaluating the comments from the public consultation exercise and results will form a key element of the reports being considered by the Mayor and cabinet next month.”