Threatened Blackburn care home boarded up

A CARE home has been boarded up – despite res- idents and their families still being officially con-sulted on its closure. Blackburn with Darwen Council announced plans to close Brookside Care Home, in Pearl Street, Blackburn, as a “plan B” to cut costs for elderly care after it failed to sell three of its five homes.

No official decision to close the home has yet been taken, but the last resident moved out last week and the 29 staff are still unsure where they will be working in the future.

Fifteen residents out of a capacity of 24 were living at the care home when the closure plans were annou-nced, but staff said many had been unhappy to leave.

One, who contacted the Lancashire Telegraph but asked to remain anonymous, said: “The consultation for residents seems to us to have just been people coming round with catalogues from other homes and telling residents they are probably going to have to move out whatever happens, so that’s what they and their families have done. Some of them were crying when they were leaving.

“For people who have been here a long time and got used to the staff and the house, it’s a real upheaval and it was horrible to have to watch them move out.”

Another added: “At the moment, we are all working at the other homes, but some are miles away at Longshaw and the council are paying for taxis to get staff there.

“I’m sure they won’t do that once the consultation is over and the move is permanent.”

The council’s opposition leader, Kate Hollern, said: “How can they have a cons-ultation when the building is already closed? It couldn’t be any clearer that, as far as they are concerned, the decision has already been made.”

The council’s director of adult social services Stephen Sloss said: “Moving out was a choice that residents and their families made and is something we have endeav-oured to support them with.

“However, the final dec-ision whether or not to close the home has not yet been taken.”