Care Home Closure Move Attacked

Wrexham Council has taken another step towards closing its last two remaining residential care homes for the elderly. The council has voted not to take any more residents at the Llys Madoc or Nant Silyn homes, but will continue to provide care for existing residents. Protesters have described the move as “cruel and brutal”.

The council has been asked to respond, but says there will be no more investment in current homes and wants more residents living independently. It has applied to the Welsh Assembly Government for a £5m grant to increase the number of those facilities, known as “extra care”.

The authority wants to build 50 units for elderly residents on the Llys Madoc site, in a scheme costing around £8m, and hopes to start work in April 2008. A decision on that application is expected in January 2007.

Meanwhile, following Tuesday’s decision, the council has said it cannot give a long-term commitment to maintaining residential care in Wrexham in its current form. The council estimates it would cost £2m in capital investment to keep each home open and additional revenue funding would also be required. It now looks likely that at least one home will close.

In the report discussed on Tuesday, the council recommends that any relocation of patients to the remaining home would be “undertaken in a sensitive manner.”

The council also gave a commitment to provide residential care for people in a local authority home “where it is consistent with their assessed needs and desire to do so and where it continues to be viable”.

Campaigner Ken Mack, from Wrexham, said the plans were “cruel and brutal”. He added: “This basically means closure, and my main concern is for the residents. We’re all being told we’re living longer. Surely we need more provision, not less? This is a campaign against public services, and a clear and deliberate move towards the private sector.