Plans to privatise Exmouth care homes
THE sister of a man who lives in an Exmouth care home for people with learning difficulties has hit-out at plans to privatise the residence.Premier Living Service, who currently runs Forton House and Cornerstones in St Johns Road, and The Lodge in Exeter
THE sister of a man who lives in an Exmouth care home for people with learning difficulties has hit-out at plans to privatise the residence.
Premier Living Service, who currently runs Forton House and Cornerstones in St Johns Road, and The Lodge in Exeter Road, for the NHS Partnership Trust, is to cease operating next year.
Responsible for a total of seven supported care homes for people with learning disabilities which employs almost 100 staff, it is believed the service will be taken over by a private sector provider.
Joanne Brown, of Roseberry Road, is worried her brother, Mark Bell, 42, who stays in Forton House, will be moved into temporary accommodation and out of the town.
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Although health and social care workers have confirmed Premier Living will be phased out, it is not known whether the three Exmouth-based homes will close once changes are implemented.
Joanne said: "Why mend something that isn't broken? Mark has been in Forton for 15 years. He is happy and stabilised.
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"Moving him to a potential new house with fresh faces - it's going to be terrible."
As well as learning disabilities, Mrs Brown said Mark suffered from epilepsy, challenging and sometimes aggressive behaviour, and hyperactivity.
She praised the structured care plan currently in place at Forton House and said it catered well for her brother's conditions.
"The staff there are absolutely fantastic. He can go out shopping with the carers and everyone knows him.
"Without the continuation of care, Mark will possibly regress and the hard work and dedication of his care team will have been in vain."
Speaking about the home's shift to the private sector, Mrs Brown added: "How is it that a profit drive care package can possibly be better for him and his fellow residents?
"Why cannot the residents remain in the environment in which they are happy, stable, fulfilled and close to relatives and family with whom they can interact?
"They are not commodities to be traded like stocks and shares - they are human beings with emotions, problems and needs."
Mrs Brown, who has expressed her concerns to Devon County Council and East Devon MP Hugo Swire, said she was 'disgusted' over a lack of communication.
She said nobody had contacted her for a number of months to let her know what will happen to Mark once a takeover is carried out.
"It's appalling how we don't know nothing. It's just not right that we have not been told where the residents will go.
"In a minute it is going to be Christmas and 2010 before we know it.