Anger as council send letter asking dead gran to move

THE family of a former resident in an axed Risca care home were sent a letter by the council saying their relative will need to be re-homed – two months after her death.

The daughter of Irene Gough, Connie Watkins, 74, described it as “an insult.”

Mrs Gough died in her sleep on April 2 aged 100 while the threat of closure still loomed over Ty Darran.

Mrs Watkins said: “There’s no care or thought or feeling – it’s upsetting to see something like that. When I saw the letter, I though ‘Oh my God, what are they up to now?’ It’s unbelievable.”

The letter, dated June 16, is from Caerphilly council’s interim assistant director of adult services, Dave Street, and tells Mrs Watkins following the decision to close Ty Darran, her relative would have to be assessed with a view to finding a new home.

Mrs Gough’s granddaughter, Angela Millard, 49, said: “I was outraged they could get something so simple wrong which could cause so much pain.

“It’s so insensitive, it’s like a slap in the face. My mum has been through so much and they turn around and do this to her – it’s horrendous.”

Mrs Gough was one of then 14 residents at the 36-bed home when the council entered a three-month consultation into the possible closure in January. Now there are only eight people.

Following Mrs Gough’s death, her family continued the fight to try and save it.

A council spokesman said: “We would like to offer our full and sincere apologies to the family for any distress caused. There has obviously been an administrative error and we will look into the reason why this unfortunate oversight occurred.”

The council’s cabinet voted unanimously on May 18 to close the home, saying parts were not fit for purpose and redevelopment would cost £500,000 with annual running costs of £444,000.

A suggestion to keep it as a 15-bed residential care home, with an added 12 beds for dementia patients, costing £332,000 a year in additional staffing costs and £400,000 in building work, was deemed not financially viable.

Campaigners have sought legal action over the decision and are waiting to hear from their solicitor.

Another petition has been started, calling for a vote of no confidence in council leader Lindsay Whittle.