16 October 2014 – for immediate release
Threat to Surrey’s Care Homes
The six remaining residential care homes for older people that are still maintained by Surrey County Council (SCC) are under threat, including Longfield in Cranleigh. At the SCC Cabinet on 21 October councillors will be asked to begin the process of closing them down and transferring hundreds of elderly vulnerable residents to privately run care homes.
Labour’s Richard Wilson said, “As life expectancy increases, we need to think more about how older people are cared for. We need decent, dignified, safe care for our mums and dads. I hope Surrey County Council are not considering washing their hands of this responsibility. Moving residents will be very traumatic for them, even the prospect of their homes closing will cause great distress to many vulnerable people. I am saddened that after raising our Council Tax repeatedly and awarding councillors bumper pay rises the Council claim they cannot find the money to maintain and improve these homes.”
If the Cabinet follows the recommendation next Tuesday, a consultation process will start and the final decision will be taken next February. SCC owns 30 care homes for older people but the running of 24 have been transferred to the private sector. The remaining 6 are:
In addition to the permanent residents, in the table above, there are around 89 “respite” residents who live there temporarily to give their carers at home some time off.
Around 500 staff work in the care homes.
The GMB union will be lobbying councillors on Tuesday 21 October from 1pm outside the front of County Hall , Kingston ahead of the cabinet meeting at 2pm.
Note 1: Richard Wilson is Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Guildford constituency, which includes Cranleigh.
Note 2: This issue is item 16 on the Cabinet agenda for 21 Oct: http://mycouncil.surreycc.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=120&MId=3690&Ver=4
Note 3: The table above comes from this document: http://mycouncil.surreycc.gov.uk/documents/s17356/item%2016%20-%20SCC%20In%20House%20Residential%20Care%20Homes%20for%20Older%20People.pdf