Fears Over Teeside Care Home Closure

CONTROVERSIAL plans to close a Teesside nursing home could lead to the deaths of some elderly residents, it has been claimed.

The claim was made as Stockton Council agreed to shut the Parkview care home on Thorntree Road, Thornaby.

Emotions ran high as the decision was made by the council’s Cabinet last night despite opposition from residents, staff, local councillors and an MP.

One staff member, Jill Owen, who has worked at the home for 14 years, claimed the closure could have tragic consequences.

She feared many of the elderly residents would not be able to cope with the upheaval of moving elsewhere.

“There will be fatalities due to this decision.”

Another staff member accused the council of “running the home into the ground” knowing they were going to close it.

A woman whose mum lives at Parkview made an emotional plea for the home to stay open.

The woman broke down as she told how her mum was unable to live in her own home and Parkview was the best place for her.

Councillor Steve Walmsley, of the Thornaby Independent Association, claimed the closure was “a fait accompli”.

He claimed Parkview was “exceptional value for money”.

Peter Brennan, of Village Park Residents’ Association, said the decision to shut Parkview was “not the end of the road”.

Stockton South MP Dari Taylor said she was “appalled”.

She said: “Many of the residents simply cannot live independently. It is gross injustice to close this home.”

But Councillor Ken Lupton, who chaired the Cabinet meeting, defended the decision.

He said it was not easy but the council had to look at the overall picture.

“There is no doubt it is not up to present day standards,” he said.

Cabinet members were booed as they agreed a closure programme for Parkview.

Councillor Ann McCoy, Cabinet member for Adult Services and Health, said the Cabinet recognised “the status quo was not an option”.

“Changes are required to ensure we offer the services people continue to tell us they want and need, meeting the highest possible standards and ensuring best use of public funds.

“Given this context, Cabinet agreed the recommendation to look at the possibility of replacing Parkview as a care home with an extra care facility on the same site.

“Progress on this will be reported back to Cabinet in three months’ time.

“We are all aware of the sensitive nature of these types of changes. The council is very experienced in dealing with reassessments and a dedicated team will work with the families over the coming months.”