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Friday 12 December 2014

Cheshire East listens to residents as care homes win reprieve


Two respite care homes in Cheshire East will continue to offer residential respite after Cheshire East Council’s Cabinet meeting considered a proposal to wind down provision.

Cabinet members at today’s meeting also listened to the views of concerned relatives who were given the opportunity to address the meeting.

Hollins View in Macclesfield and Lincoln House in Crewe, offer council-run residential respite facilities for people with dementia, older people and people with other long terms conditions.

After today’s announcement Hollins View and Lincoln House will continue to operate until December 2015, providing residential carer respite services.

In addition to the £1.5m invested in adult social care for 2014/15, an additional £1m will be allocated to enable Cheshire East Council to continue to develop alternative forms of respite care including

localised provision across the borough, and to explore between now and December 2015 options with partners specifically around Hollins View and Lincoln House. 

A lengthy and detailed review of respite provision in Cheshire East, followed by a six-week consultation period, concluded that residential carer respite should in future be provided in the independent sector giving people a far wider choice of respite provision.

After the meeting Council Leader, Councillor Michael Jones explained he was not in favour of closing the two residential respite centres and wanted to give the proposals further consideration.

One carer who addressed the meeting was Mr. Clive Shore from Crewe, whose 85-year-old wife accesses respite care services at Lincoln House on a regular basis.

The members also noted the number of letters and petitions the Council had received.

Councillor Jones said: “I fully understand the circumstances Mr. and Mrs. Shore face each day and I empathise with them.

“I temporarily suspended the council’s cabinet discussion in order to seek further comments and views from colleagues, cabinet members and officers.

“Further to this, Cabinet have concluded that they wish to find the funds to ensure that both Lincoln House and Hollins View can continue to provide residential carer respite.

“Going forward we will explore working with partners’ potential options to enhance the services both centres provide to our residents.

“But I must emphasise that no residents would have been left without respite care in Cheshire East.

“We will continue with our plans to block-book beds in the independent sector and can reassure all residents that respite care will be available throughout the borough to meet their assessed needs.”

The Cabinet meeting was about to discuss a lengthy document proposing changes to care provision in Cheshire East including a proposal to source all future residential respite services in the independent sector, ending the need to maintain the two council-run respite homes.

The proposals include a new package of measures providing early intervention for those with dementia and other long term conditions and support for their carers, together with a wider choice of personalised respite care options.

The Borough has an estimated 40,000 carers with the number certain to increase significantly in line with expected demographic changes.

Cheshire East Council has repeatedly emphasised that all people in need of respite care will continue to receive it. The new measures will continue to provide additional respite care near to their homes, not just in Macclesfield or Crewe and will work with other providers whose provision and location is more suited to their needs.

Councillor Janet Clowes, Cabinet member for care and health in the community, said:

“The consultation exercise has highlighted the views of those people that use the two respite homes but has also highlighted that other people wish to learn about other options that we intend to make available.

“We have to address the changing needs of our older population and while many of our residents have expressed a wish to continue to use Hollins View and Lincoln House we are also aware that many residents are asking for wider and alternative choices of support.

“We must respect their views as well as those who have expressed their support for Hollins View and Lincoln House.  Today’s decision enables us to do both.

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