Why Bryneithin care home costs £450,000 a year – for one resident

A care home which costs £450,000 a year to run is staying open with just one resident.

The 90-year-old woman, who has not been named, is being cared for by a team of 13 care workers at the Bryneithin residential care home in Dinas Powys, which social services chiefs wanted to close three years ago because it was costing too much.

The closure plans had to be scrapped in 2010 after residents’ relatives discovered care contracts which stipulated that the 12 permanent residents could remain there until they died.

Last Saturday, 91-year-old Arthur Samuel died, leaving the 90-year-old woman as the last remaining resident at the property, which is set back from the St Andrew’s Road amid tree-lined lawns.

It is understood that the woman’s son, who is working in Vietnam and could not be contacted, wants his mother to remain at the home.

Mr Samuel’s daughter, Margo Farbrace, has now called for the home to be developed as a respite care centre in the short term and as a dementia care centre of excellence in the long term.

Meanwhile, local councillors have called on the recently-elected Labour-led coalition Vale of Glamorgan council to make an urgent decision on the future of the home.

Mrs Farbrace said: “When they were in opposition, Labour supported calls for Bryneithin to be made a centre of excellence.

“Now they are in power that is what they should do.

“Bryneithin is a glorious place and would be absolutely ideal as a centre for dementia care.

“My dad had the best care he ever had from the people at Bryneithin. He was treated with dignity and respect.

“We cannot let Bryneithin go.”

Plaid Cymru councillor and former AM Chris Franks said: “It was with sadness that I learnt of the death of Arthur Samuel.

“Figures that Plaid has discovered show that the home cost £450,000 in 2011/12.

“We understand matters need to be carefully considered, but time is pressing. The process to close the home was muddled and incoherent. The council has destroyed a first class facility for vulnerable residents.

“We need to know urgently what ideas the new administration has for the home and land. The worst case would be for continued drift.

“The financial implications are enormous.

“There are growing demands for good care of the elderly that must to tackled as a matter of urgency.”

Lance Carver, head of adult services with the Vale council, said: “The revenue spend on Bryneithin in 2011/2012 was £450,000. There was no capital expenditure last year.

“However, this does not mean that the ongoing costs will be the same now that there is only one resident.

“As ever, we are reviewing the care arrangements when things change at the home.”

Stuart Egan, the council’s cabinet member for social care and health said the council would take a balanced and reasoned decision having considered all the facts with regard to the future of Bryneithin.

Mr Egan, who backed calls for Bryneithin to be made a centre of excellence when he was in opposition, continued: “Decisions this important should not be rushed and all the options about Bryneithin and the service provided will need to be considered properly.”