Critics claim Hackney Council's reasons for shutting down care home are "innacurate"
PUBLISHED: 11:36 02 April 2015 | UPDATED: 11:36 02 April 2015
The closure of Hackney Council's only bed-based centre for vulnerable people leaving hospital is set to "devastate" the borough's care capacity, critics have claimed.
An urgent review of the Median Road Resource Centre closure is being called for, following allegations the information used as the basis of the decision is inaccurate and claims that outsourcing the service could cost hundreds of thousands pounds more.
Staff at the centre in Lower Clapton, which provided intermediate and interim care, 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 the centre’s closure.
But Hackney Unison believes the report is misleading and that outsourcing its 37 beds for people leaving hospital until they can cope independently, will end up costing the council a lot more.
Branch secretary, Matthew Waterfall, said: “The decision to close this vital service at a time when there is such a huge need for extra care in the community is short-sighted and will place extra pressure on hospital wards needing to discharge patients back into the community.
“We do not believe councillors have been given the full picture by management on this issue and we urge the council to reconsider this ill-conceived move which will not only devastate care capacity in Hackney now but for years into the future.”
Patient watchdog Healthwatch Hackney said that patients had not been consulted and are upset at the loss of the service many viewed as an “important stepping stone in their recovery”.
But Ms Wright said the decision “reflects the changing needs of patients and the desire of more people to recover from hospital treatment and be cared for in their own homes.”
“Services previously provided at Median Road will continue to be provided through a reablement and intermediate care service (RICS) led by Homerton University Hospital,” she said. “This allows us to deliver better services for people leaving hospital and our temporary accommodation in one of our housing with care schemes means that people have a home from home with 24-hour care whilst they wait for their home to be adapted or more suitable home to be found. We have not had to increase the budget to deliver RICS.”