Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Sham consultation over council care home closure

A campaigner fighting to save Wrexham’s last remaining care home for the elderly has described the consultation into its future as a “sham” after it emerged staff were already being offered redeployment and retirement packages.

Cllr Carrie Harper, Plaid Cymru’s Wrexham spokeswoman, said: “The council claims it is undertaking a consultation with residents, their families and staff about the future of Nant Silyn while at the same time pushing through redeployment, retirement and redundancy for workers there.

 “It’s a sham consultation because it seems the decision has already been made, regardless of what families and staff have to say. There is a need for a wider and more honest discussion about care for the elderly in the community that involves the council, health board and voluntary groups but we’re not having that debate because the council officers are deciding things behind closed doors.

“We’ve been talking to families and staff, who are passionate about the service being provided, and the local community council has also wanted to ensure a wider community input. But if staff are already being redeployed and pensioned off, the service cannot continue, can it?

“We really do need a change to this tick-box culture of supposedly consulting people and being open to ideas, while the important decisions are all being made in private. To make matters worse, the decisions – such as closing Plas Madoc, going for city status, keeping the mayor and now this – are almost always wrong.”

Cllr Harper added that elderly care was an urgent priority with too much time and money wasted by councils and health boards in arguing over who was responsible for delivery. She added: “One key promise Plaid Cymru, the Party of Wales, is making is that we would merge the health and social care budgets so that this constant bickering over funding was a thing of the past. We want a seamless service for the elderly and others needing care in the community or hospitals and merging these two pots of money would help achieve that.”

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