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Exmouth staff appeal to councillors to save care home

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: February 18, 2014

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STAFF at a Devon County Council run care home for people with dementia in Exmouth which is under review, have appealed to town councillors to save it from potential closure.

As previously reported by the Echo, this month the county authority announced its intention to cease providing residential care services at its care homes, and instead to purchase care in the private sector, becoming the commissioner of care, rather than the provider, of care services.

Around 85 per cent of people whose care is funded by the council is already provided by private sector care homes.

As part of the review council officials revealed that plans to make Davey Court residential home for the elderly in Exmouth one of 10 Centres of Excellence for the care of people with dementia, were “regretfully” to be scrapped.

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The revelation provoked anger from its ward member for the town, Councillor Eileen Wragg who accused the authority of putting “politics and money” over people.

The council claims that after detailed studies at Davey Court, the building is not considered suitable for conversion.

But councillors at this month’s full council meeting heard how finding alternative accommodation that can adequately care for its patients with severe dementia had already proven difficult in the past.

Councillor Lynne Elson described the matter as a “great concern” and said there are not enough residential home spaces for all those needing them, and said the town council should do “everything it could” to help.

A county council spokesperson was keen to stress that the changes to its care home system would not affect people’s eligibility for council funded support.

Under the review, the council is also looking at closing or merging its day centres.

The spokesperson confirmed that the intention is that people using any closed day centres could instead use other nearby day centres or have the option of using their Direct Payments grant for alternative support.

A review of the buildings will follow at a later date.

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