By Hannah McDonagh
RELATIVES and carers of dementia patients in Sheffield fear they will be unable to have holidays or breaks if plans to close the city’s only respite home go ahead, according to campaigners.
Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust wants to close Hurlfield View, a 16-bed residential care home, a year earlier than expected and spread the work across the private sector.
However, campaigners hoping to keep Hurlfield View open claim they have unearthed information that indicates there are only “a couple of beds” available and day care is “limited” in Sheffield. They say they are concerned families will be unable to book the same overnight provision that is available at Hurlfield View.
The UNISON union claims the private sector want to fill beds to the maximum to maximise profits and simply don’t want to provide the care that Hurlfield View does.
Hurlfield View is currently the single provider for the whole of Sheffield after the city council closed three care homes providing day care and respite for dementia patients in the last five years.
Sue Highton, branch secretary of UNISON in Sheffield said: “It is time for ordinary working folks to fight back and say enough is enough.
“We are actively engaging with this campaign where the carers and families of service users of Hurlfield View are up in arms at the proposed closure and will oppose it.”
Joe Fowler, director of commissioning at Sheffield City Council, said: “We made an agreement with Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust that they would provide a service at Hurlfield View for three years, to end in 2018.
“Unfortunately the Trust can no longer afford to provide the agreed service beyond March 2017 so we are working closely with them to help the people affected and their families find alternative arrangements.
“Our absolute priority here is working with the people affected, and the Trust, to make sure people continue to get the support they need.
“We will be working with other short break and respite service providers in Sheffield to make sure that there are enough good quality alternative services and we are confident that this will be the case.
“The money we expected to pay the Trust to deliver services at Hurlfield View next year will be invested in alternative services. We will also continue to invest in other types of dementia support.”
Carers and families have had one-to-one meetings when they were told that there are enough day care and respite services in the private sector.