Words and photo by Dave Barry
The county council’s decision to close an old folks home in Scarborough has been branded “absolutely appalling”.
101 Prospect Mount Road, built in 1970, “is no longer fit for purpose to deliver the required standards of care facilities that people expect today”, the authority states.
Services at the facility will cease by 30 April.
They are to be replaced through a mix of North Yorkshire County Council and private provision.
Siobhan MacMahon, a retired nurse whose husband worked at 101, has accused the council of “slyly shutting down this fantastic facility”.
“They have tried to sneak this through”, said Mrs MacMahon. “My GP didn’t know until I told her”.
Consultations with staff, residents, relatives and other users have been carried out.
But Mrs MacMahon said: “The local GPs should have also been involved in the consultation, along with the local NHS and local people.
“The Tory mentality is that because of austerity measures, they have to cut the budgets everywhere and the elderly are most vulnerable”.
Since staff were informed about the proposed closure, on 23 October, many have left for other jobs and 101 is running on relief staff, Mrs MacMahon said.
Some staff have gone to the new, privately-owned Maple Court in Barrowcliff, just up the road.
“It’s absolutely appalling”, said Mrs MacMahon. “Families shouldn’t be forced to choose between private homes.
“North Yorkshire County Council are so blooming powerful that the public are afraid of them”, she claimed.
“I’m seriously concerned that they’re taking away from us the respite care and peace of mind for families”.
However, the county council insisted that 101 “no longer meets the council’s vision of promoting independence and choice. It is in the poorest condition of the county’s in-house remaining residential provision”.
The council said its strategy sets out ambitions for the future care and support of older and vulnerable adults in the county.
“This includes the development of local accommodation, services and activities that enable people to be safe and live independently at home for as long as possible, particularly through increasing the number of extra-care housing schemes.
“In Scarborough, there are four extra-care schemes, so the need for extra-care housing in the town is being met”.