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Save our care homes
4:37pm Friday 4th October 2013 in News
OPPOSITION is growing to plans to close four local authority-run care homes in Hampshire.
Campaigners took to Romsey’s streets to get their message across to Hampshire’s adult social services chiefs that they don’t want to see the town’s 39-bed Nightingale Lodge Residential Care Home replaced with a privately-run home that will be known as Extra Care assisted living.
The other homes in the county facing closure are Cranleigh Paddock in Lyndhurst, Deeside in Basingstoke and Bulmer House in Petersfield.
If Hampshire County Council (HCC) goes ahead with the plans, 121 long-term residents, some with dementia, would have to move and 193 jobs would be lost.
Union officials joined campaigners for the ‘grand petition signing’ event in the Market Place.
Jill Baker, who set up the Save Nightingale Lodge campaign, said: “I think we did well with over 1,000 signatures taken. We still have a couple more weeks for petitions to run at Latimer News and Paperchain.
“Support was good from the public and there was real anger at proposing to close a valuable and cherished Romsey service.”
Unison’s deputy Hampshire branch secretary Jan Matthews said it is crucial that the public keeps putting the pressure on the county’s social services bosses, adding: “Public feeling is very strong about these proposed closures and we will fight on until they listen.
“People are disgusted over the proposed closures and privatising another string of Hampshire’s public services.”
Hampshire’s Cabinet spokesman for adult social care, Anna McNair Scott, who will make the decision on the long-term future of the county care homes next month, said: “The county council spends more than £1m a day caring for older residents, and with the current population of over-75s to grow by 80 per cent by 2030, this is only set to increase.
“We need to change the way our older friends and family are supported and cared for if we are to continue to meet the needs and aspirations of older people.”
She added that older people now want to stay in their own homes as long as they can and HCC has taken measures to try to help ensure that this happens.
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