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Uncertainty for elderly care residents
A controversial shake-up that will affect people in care homes across Leeds will not be reconsidered.
The decision Leeds City Council’s executive board took in September had implications for, among others, under-threat Manorfield House in Horsforth and Yeadon’s Suffolk Court.
The council amended its plans in response to public concerns so that existing residents can continue to stay at Suffolk Court and Manorfield, though the long-term future of both is unclear. Several other homes in different parts of the city, meanwhile, are set to close.
A number of councillors, concerned about the impact of the changes, asked the authority’s health and wellbeing scrutiny committee to see if the plans should be referred back for reconsideration.
But the committee, meeting last week, concluded that the decision should stand.
Councillor Sandy Lay (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon), the Liberal Democrats spokesman in Leeds for adult social care, said: “I am disappointed with the scrutiny board’s decision and felt that a number of concerns were raised which the executive board should revisit.
“The executive board only discussed this issue for 15 minutes, which I don’t feel is long enough for such an important decision to close care homes for elderly and vulnerable residents.
“Concerns were raised by local people fighting to save Manorfield House, in Horsforth, and Primrose Hill about the sustainability and financing of these proposals.
“And I, personally, have concerns about what will happen at Suffolk Court if the NHS don’t take over the management of the home, which is the council’s hoped-for option.
Elderly residents face a long period of uncertainty before we know for definite whether or not the NHS will work with the council to create a new intermediate care facility.
“I still have concerns that adult social services could be run more efficiently and could have done more to reduce waste in the service before embarking on this closure programme.
“I am also worried by the lack of assurances from the administration that we won’t see further care home closures in the near future.”
Some campaigners were celebrating securing a ‘U-turn’ for Manorfield and Suffolk Court when the executive board’s proposals were revealed last month, but a more accurate appraisal would be that both have been given a temporary reprieve.
Under the plans Manorfield will stay open for current residents but not accept any new admissions, while residents will also continue to stay at Suffolk Court as discussions about its future conversion to an intermediate care centre are held with the NHS.
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