Kent care home meeting ‘a total sham’

A MAN whose 92-year-old mum lives at the threatened Ladesfield care home in Whitstable claims the closures consultation meeting was a total sham.

A Times reporter was evicted from the meeting earlier this month – but Kevin Savage, whose mum Nora has lived at the KCC home for three years, said it was a waste of time.

He said: “This wasn’t a consultation meeting. It was an orchestrated piece of presentational puff to deliver a fait accompli about the closure.”

Margaret Howard, KCC’s area director of commissioning and provisions for adult social services, told residents and relatives the home was outdated and no longer fit for purpose.

Mr Savage said: “Residents and their relatives were of one voice – not to close it – but our views were swept aside, with the patronising response that our comments would be considered at KCC’s review meeting in November.

“The bottom line is that their policy is simply wrong.”

Mr Savage, who now lives in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, said staff at Ladesfield delivered an “exceptional level of care and compassion” to residents.

He said: “They achieve this despite under-resourcing and under-staffing.”

Mr Savage disputed KCC’s claim that there are eight local nursing and residential homes locally offering 255 beds.

Officials argued it would cost between £1 and £2 million to refurbish Ladesfield, but that developing en suite rooms would result in a loss of beds which would massively increase the cost to residents and make the service even more uneconomic.

Mr Savage said: “It seems that the only tangible benefit is that KCC is offering the residents they wish to relocate an en-suite toilet.”

Relatives have been told that, if the closure decision is confirmed in January, every resident will be reassessed and alternative homes discussed with their families.

KCC’s cabinet member for adult social services, Graham Gibbens, said: “People of any age can find change difficult, and we know that a move for an older person can be traumatic.

That is why, if the proposals are agreed, immense care will be given to any move that would then need to take place.”