Campaigners in last-ditch bid to save city care home from closure
CAMPAIGNERS fighting for the future of a city care home are staging a last-ditch attempt to save it from closure. They are hoping a petition containing more than 3,500 names will secure a stay of execution for Earlsmoor care home, in Brynmill.
Union chiefs are planning to hand it over to the local authority tomorrow.
They are taking the step, ahead of Swansea Council’s cabinet meeting to decide the centre’s fate on Thursday.
It is one in a series of proposals designed to shake-up care for the elderly.
Carers are being given the chance to pick and choose from a range of services, including short breaks with “foster” families, time away from home and residential respite care.
But Unison’s Mike Davies said more than 3,500 people were opposed to the proposal to axe Earlsmoor and he believed the site still had a key role to play.
He said: “In our view it has been allowed to deteriorate for the past four or five years.
“It was the jewel in the crown of respite homes.
“I have spoken to many people in Swansea while campaigning to keep it open and not one person has been in favour of this closure.”
Swansea Council has put forward the move in a drive to meet demand for a wider range of respite services, particularly as it’s believed in future years there will be more people in need and fewer carers available.
Consultation on the proposals has been carried out over the past 18 months and has won the approval of the authority’s health, social care and well-being overview board.
The proposals will mean that the Earlsmoor residential respite care unit will close.
But even if cabinet agrees, Nick Tregoning, cabinet member for social services, has vowed the service will continue until other residential respite services are put in place.
He said: “Even if Cabinet agrees to close Earlsmoor, it’s not going to close overnight.
“It will take time.
“I recognise that changing services needs to be handled carefully and with the greatest respect for current users.
“Even if cabinet agrees to the proposals, Earlsmoor will remain open until I’m satisfied that alternative residential respite care is in place.”
The local authority has created an eight-bed unit at Ty Waunarlwydd to offer residential respite care for dementia sufferers.
It also aims to offer a similar style service for physically disabled people at Rose Cross House.
An extra care flat is also available at the new Hazel Court complex which offers respite care.
Councillor Tregoning added: “The wide-ranging consultations we’ve done have already made a significant contribution to our proposals for future services.
“The consultation says loudly and clearly that the one-size- fits-all approach is not what people want any more — if they ever did.
“Currently Earlsmoor is the principal residential respite care service that we provide. But the consultation and research has shown that demand is changing.
“Quite reasonably, people want to choose the kind of respite care they receive.”