Criticism rumbles on over shock Median Road care home closure

Median Road Resources Centre, Hackney.

Median Road Resources Centre, Hackney. - Credit: Archant

A meeting has been called to discuss the closure of Hackney’s only bed-based centre for vulnerable people leaving hospital.

Staff at the Median Road Resource Centre in Lower Clapton, which provided 37 intermediate and interim care beds, were shocked when they were told in March the care home where they had worked for decades would shut by the end of the month.

They were presented with a report signed off by the council’s corporate director of health and community services, Kim Wright, presenting the ‘business case’ for its closure.

But critics called for an urgent review of the decision, claiming the loss of beds for people leaving hospital until they could cope independently would “devastate” the borough’s care capacity and put extra pressure on hospital beds.

They also claim the latest figures to emerge prove the cost of outsourcing the service is, in some cases, more than double.

While the cost for interim care at Median Road was £1,075 a week, the price for caring for a stroke patient is now £2,791 at St Pancras, or £2,389 Hospital for a musculoskeletal case.

At a meeting of the board of directors of Homerton in April it emerged that the closure had created “further challenges” for the hospital trust by reducing the options of places to which they could discharge patients.

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Hackney Unison called the business case “misleading”, and branch secretary, Matthew Waterfall said: “Had the council consulted there would have been massive objections, it would have resulted in a different outcome. I don’t think anyone really knows why it closed.”

Anyone well enough to be cared for in their own home will now be looked after through a reablement and intermediate care service (RICS) led by Homerton University Hospital.

Genette Laws, the council’s assistant director commissioning said: “We are satisfied that a full and robust consultation process was carried out with all staff and stakeholders regarding Median Road.

“Even when it was open, some of our service users were still beingreferred to St Pancras for those with more complex rehabilitation needs, and therefore it is more expensive.

“One of our key priorities, moving forward, is to work with partners to undertake a review of the way intermediate care beds are provided. I look forward to attending the meeting to discuss our future plans.”

NHS Community Voice, a group led by City and Hackney patients, has called a public meeting to discuss the centre’s closure today (Thursday) at St John at Hackney Church in Lower Clapton Road from 6pm to 8pm.