Southend care home could close to cut costs

Southend Standard: Priory House Priory House

PATIENTS with dementia and other disabilities could be forced to leave their care home to cut costs.

A task group set up by Southend Council to review the future of Priory House, in Prittlewell Chase, Westcliff, has recommended it should be shut down because there is no longer enough cash in the public purse to maintain it.

The home, one of the last two operated by the council, has up to 28 beds for elderly people with dementia or other frailties.

Chiefs have insisted any closure will be managed carefully and residents will not suffer, but worried relatives are unconvinced.

One man, whose elderly mother lives at the home, said: “I think it would be a disgraceful decision if they were to close it.

“You cannot move people at that age and with the sorts of issues they have without causing them serious problems.

“It simply isn’t acceptable.”

Relatives and council bosses have repeatedly praised the standard of service offered at Priory House.

However, chiefs pointed out each of the 28 beds cost £774 a week to run - twice the rate paid to private homes to accommodate publically-funded patients.

In addition, the Fifties-built home requires nearly £1million of investment to bring it up to 21st century standards - money the council does not have.

Chiefs ordered a review into the future of Priory House and Delaware House, in Maplin Way North, Shoebury, last year to try to find a way forward.

That review, conducted by nine councillors from all parties, has now recommended Priory House is closed while Delaware House is maintained and upgraded.

A formal consultation on that option, as well as keeping both homes open, selling them to a private operator or changing the way they work, is expected to be rubber-stamped by Tory leaders on Tuesday.

No final decision will be made until all residents and staff have been asked for their views.

However, if Priory House were to close, it could mean job losses for some of the 85 staff employed across both homes and patients being moved elsewhere.

Chiefs previously promised existing residents would be allowed to live out the rest of their days in the home, but now it appears more likely they would be found new beds in the private sector.

Mike Boyle, the interim head of adult commissioning, said the details of any moves would only be laid out if the decision was taken to close a home.

He added: “Any future decision resulting in the closure of a care home will have to be managed within the requirements of the Human Rights Act and carried out safely and in accordance with current best practice.”

Comments (7)

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1:22pm Mon 18 Mar 13

Nebs says...

Cue a zillion flats.

Why does a council run care home cost twice as much to run as private organisations?
Cue a zillion flats. Why does a council run care home cost twice as much to run as private organisations? Nebs

1:29pm Mon 18 Mar 13

Sean4u says...

Perhaps they could use the big hole they'll be digging for the reburial of the Black Death victims on Canvey. Why isn't that front page news online yet?

http://www.facebook.
com/photo.php?fbid=5
90093744353973&l=d8b
e8a666c
Perhaps they could use the big hole they'll be digging for the reburial of the Black Death victims on Canvey. Why isn't that front page news online yet? http://www.facebook. com/photo.php?fbid=5 90093744353973&l=d8b e8a666c Sean4u

1:49pm Mon 18 Mar 13

SpeekinMyBranes says...

They can't afford to maintain and run this care home, but they can afford untold millions to tart up the Civic Centre.

Troughs, pigs, snouts, etc.
They can't afford to maintain and run this care home, but they can afford untold millions to tart up the Civic Centre. Troughs, pigs, snouts, etc. SpeekinMyBranes

3:02pm Mon 18 Mar 13

Rochford Rob says...

Nearly 800 quid a week to look after an old biddy does seem rather excessive.
Nearly 800 quid a week to look after an old biddy does seem rather excessive. Rochford Rob

3:17pm Mon 18 Mar 13

sad old man says...

Yet Essex can afford to run special care for 'travellers', the Essex Countywide Traveller Unit (ECTU)
Perhaps those who paid in to the system all their lives are not protected by the 'human rights act'.

The chiefs will, if they're lucky, get old and infirm themselves one day - and who will protect them?
Yet Essex can afford to run special care for 'travellers', the Essex Countywide Traveller Unit (ECTU)[!] Perhaps those who paid in to the system all their lives are not protected by the 'human rights act'. The chiefs will, if they're lucky, get old and infirm themselves one day - and who will protect them? sad old man

11:58pm Mon 18 Mar 13

Carnabackable says...

What a good idea, this place is yet another example of the bad old labour days, when they flitted away millions of pounds, so now it's time to get back to the basics...
What a good idea, this place is yet another example of the bad old labour days, when they flitted away millions of pounds, so now it's time to get back to the basics... Carnabackable

1:15pm Tue 19 Mar 13

fletch12107 says...

The figures to repair and up grade Priory House was arrived at by "specialist surveyors" commissioned by the council at a cost to all of us. Mike Boyle who I am guessing had a say in this commission was/and may still be on a contract costing £800 a DAY yes a Day and has been for two years.
May I suggest that this inflated figure is questioned and that the builders on the councils books be asked to submit a figure to carry out essential works.
How can this be the right thing to do? Many of the residents have dementia and it has been established by experts in this field that to move people who are suffering this horrendous illness will be detrimental to their health.
The figures to repair and up grade Priory House was arrived at by "specialist surveyors" commissioned by the council at a cost to all of us. Mike Boyle who I am guessing had a say in this commission was/and may still be on a contract costing £800 a DAY yes a Day and has been for two years. May I suggest that this inflated figure is questioned and that the builders on the councils books be asked to submit a figure to carry out essential works. How can this be the right thing to do? Many of the residents have dementia and it has been established by experts in this field that to move people who are suffering this horrendous illness will be detrimental to their health. fletch12107

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