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Cllr Di Brooks joins fight to save Cranleigh Paddock unit in Lyndhurst
A LEADING councillor has joined the battle to save a specialist dementia unit.
Cllr Brooks says the number of dementia cases in the Forest is expected to rise by 43 per cent over the next 20 years.
The county council has published proposals to close Cranleigh Paddock and three other care homes including Nightingale Lodge in Romsey.
If the scheme goes ahead, 121 long-term residents will be moved and 193 jobs shed.
Civic chiefs say the homes, all built between the 1960s and early 1980s, are out-dated and need improvements costing more than £10m.
They want to replace the buildings with “extra care” housing schemes comprising individual flats run by partner housing associations.
But Cllr Brooks is calling for Cranleigh Paddock to be kept open.
“The home is renowned for the high standard of care of residents and the training and expertise of its staff,” she said.
“This wealth of experience may be lost if Cranleigh Paddock is closed and its employees are not redeployed.
“To redevelop the site as an extra care housing scheme does not meet the requirement of dementia patients in the New Forest. We’re not against extra care in itself but feel that having specialist dementia care facilities in the Forest is more of a priority.”
The county council says Cranleigh Paddock’s small rooms, narrow corridors and poor layout make it difficult to care for people in a way that safeguards their privacy and dignity.
But relatives of the home’s residents disputed the claim at a heated public meeting in the village last week.
The authority has pledged to fully consider all views before making a decision next month.
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