Dementia beds: concerns raised
14:02 03 March 2014
Davey Court, the county council-run care home could close in 18 months, with the loss of 40 dementia care beds.
And with 50 private sector beds in the area lost in a month, there now may be just four dementia bed vacancies left in the Exmouth area.
Magnolia House Residential closes this Friday while Park House, in Little Knowle, closed last month.
This is despite predictions that the over 70s in Devon will increase by a third by 2021.
But cash-strapped Devon County Council needs to cut £110million by 2017 and is considering closing its 20 care homes.
Instead it wants to buy care from the private sector, which is 50 per cent cheaper.
Following a meeting between county councillors and union chiefs on Monday Councillor Eileen Wragg said: “We have been told that there are only four dementia places left in Exmouth.
“It is a real concern. There are a lot of worried people at Davey Court.”
Devon county Unison secretary Steve Ryles said: “The staff at Davey Court will be turfed out and so will the clients. Where are they going to go?
“People will be out of a job and families could have to travel 10 miles to see relatives.
“Exmouth is East Devon’s largest town and four beds is nowhere near enough.
“Staff at Davey Court are specialised, highly trained and highly experienced.
“Will the quality of care be as good in the private sector?
“The Government says the need for beds is increasing, so what do they do?
“They cut funding to local government.”
One Davey Court member of staff said: “Has using (closed) Danby House been considered?
“Danby was designed for physical disabilities and was designed to have better access for wheelchairs and had larger rooms.”
Councillor Stuart Barker cabinet member for social care said: “We would be pleased to hear of any alternative solutions.
“There is no reduction in quality by using the private sector.
“If [Davey Court] home doesn’t close… then it is likely to have to close for refurbishment.
“If Davey Court is to close, I do not envisage this will happen for at least 18 months, so there will be plenty of time to find alternative accommodation.
“There are other local independent sector homes and many more in an extended area within 10 miles.
“It is better to plan for this now so we can make the transfer in a planned, orderly way.”
Devon County Council says everyone eligible for residential care will continue to receive it.