Decision day for Risca care home

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a Risca care home could lose their battle – as councillors meeting to discuss its future today are being asked to pass a recommendation that the site should close.

Caerphilly council’s health, social care and well-being scrutiny committee will discuss a recommendation to cabinet to go ahead with closing Ty Darran, following a 12-week consultation with residents, their relatives, staff, local councillors and trade unions.

Families and friends of residents at the home have fought bitterly to save it and collected more than 13,000 signatures on petitions, protested outside the council’s headquarters and 350 people marched through Risca on Sunday.

A report on the proposal to close the home says council officers made the recommendation to address the issue of surplus places at care homes, which includes 163 vacant beds in Caerphilly and 386 across Gwent.

The report says: “The strength of feelings and emotions generated during the consultation process are recognised.

“It is acknowledged that this is a difficult and uncertain time for residents and relatives.

“However, feedback from the consultation exercise is only one part of the process and the authority must be mindful of the need for continuing modernisation and investment in new services to support people in their homes.”

The council says two of the reasons the number of vacant beds has risen are that the authority is increasingly supporting elderly people living in their own homes and the demand for residential care in the area has reduced over the past five years.

Campaigners have been critical about the authority’s consultation process, claiming it should have been undertaken with the whole community of Risca.

But the report says the authority sought advice from its legal services and found there is no requirement for it to consult on the closure of a care home.

The 25 staff working at Ty Darran would be found employment in other suitable areas.

The committee will discuss the report at 5pm before it is put to cabinet on May 18.