Wrexham Council's plans to close its last remaining care home for the elderly are flawed and ignore the growing need for care in the community.
That's the view of Plaid Cymru's Wrexham spokeswoman Carrie Harper after a visit to Nant Silyn in Caia Park, Wrexham.
She said the consultation paper into the closure did not explain the situation in full and raises more questions than answers.
Cllr Harper said:
"Council officers have been trying to close Nant Silyn for the past decade. Back in 2009 my Plaid Cymru colleagues and I, when we were on the council, successfully opposed a closure plan. It's clear that the current situation, where only seven of the 29 beds are occupied, has happened due to a policy of not accepting admissions for the past year and a half. It's little wonder that the place is costing more to run if there are so few people being cared for there. With just a few more residents, it's likely the home would be in surplus.
"The determination in certain quarters to press ahead with closure would mean residents and those who use the home for vital respite care would go to a variety of care homes in the private sector. The council says there is no demand for these services but the private sector obviously disagrees as it expands in the Wrexham area. "Furthermore the council is making assumptions regarding future cost of these private placements without acknowledging the calls from private care providers that councils will have to pay more for care if they are to afford new minimum wage standards in the coming months and years. "The council also talks of block booking respite care in private care, which may result in them paying up to £600 a week for an empty bed. Is this really a better way to deliver a much-needed service? "Losing Nant Silyn would also mean losing a centre of expertise and care, somewhere with skills in reablement and already delivering much-needed dementia services and day care in the community. "Families today told me that Nant Silyn is just the sort of place where they feel confident that their relatives can have good quality respite care and enable them to stay in their own homes. It is also popular with local GPs, who see it as a useful halfway house for the elderly as they leave hospital. If it goes, the danger is that we will see more bed-blocking in the Maelor because we lack community facilities."
She also criticised Wrexham Council's decision not to consult with the wider community on this matter, saying future users were being denied a chance to have their say. Cllr Harper added:
"There's a petition being distributed and I would urge everyone who wants to ensure we have the best possible care for our elderly and infirm to support Nant Silyn."