Worried Staff Fear Care Homes May Be Shut

Staff at two Swansea children’s homes are worried the facilities are to be closed. A recent inspection found that the two bungalows in Cockett which house the children are in a poor condition, and there are health and safety concerns about the closeness of the homes to a busy road.

Staff at the two homes – which cater for only six children – contacted the GMB union, which in turn sent letters to councillors sitting on the Health and Social Care Scrutiny Board.

The board raised the issue with Chris Maggs, interim director of social services for Swansea Council, and Mark Roszkowski, head of child and family services.

Mr Maggs said that no decision on the future of the two homes, Ty Gwaun and Ty Cwm, had been taken.

He said: “It is a little premature to be talking about reports, in that there’s a lot of work that needs to be carried out, though it has alerted us to the fact that we need to review matters.”

Questions are also going to be asked of the CSSIW inspectors as to why the health and safety issues were raised now, rather than in any number of previous inspection reports.

In a statement, a spokesman for Swansea Council said: “The council last year opened the purpose-built Nant y Felin children’s home in Blaenymaes offering state-of-the-art accommodation and facilities for up to eight young people.

“In contrast, Ty Gwaun and Ty Cwm are former staff bungalows which were converted into homes for children in 1996.

“As a result, there are accommodation issues including small bedrooms, shared bathroom and toilet facilities and a living area which alternates as a dining area.

“Inspectors have said the units are not homely or welcoming.

“Inspectors have also raised concerns about the homes’ location by a busy road utilised by cars accessing other social services facilities and issues arising from children and staff moving in and out of the separate units which are in very close proximity to each other.”

The spokeswoman said that a review of residential children’s homes was underway to see if they met modern standards.

She said: “We have informed staff of the review and of discussions within the council, but no decisions have yet been taken on the future of the homes.”