Two care homes in Eastbourne could be facing closure.
Milton Grange in Milton Road and Firwood House, in Brassey Avenue, are to be considered for closure in plans for the county council to save £123,000.
But the news, announced at Cabinet today (Tuesday), has been met with outrage by local councillors.
Lib Dem councillor John Ungar, of Old Town, said, “It’s a very sad day for Eastbourne. The devastating bit of this is that the service they provide for the community is second to none and the closure of that facility will impact on a lot of very vulnerable people.
“Those services actually save the county council money because if they didn’t rehabilitate people to live in their own homes they would have to go into care.
“I’m lost for words. Those are hard services to replace. The staff themselves are excellent they must be so upset because they work so hard, it will be a kick in the teeth for them.
“Looking after vulnerable people should be one of our priorities.
“I want the public to tell their councillors they don’t want them closed. I think we need to urge everyone, even people who don’t receive these services, to campaign to save these establishments they might need one day.”
And Hampden Park councillor, Lib Dem Colin Swansborough said to the Herald, “It’s a disaster. It’s a valuable resource for vulnerable elderly people, populated by a dedicated and superb staff who provide a fantastic service. I know the council is talking about a public consultation and the track record for those is not great. We need everybody that possibly can to give their views to the county council.
“They haven’t made a claim as to what the alternatives are and whether they would save any money – we’re not convinced there is one.”
At the meeting Keith Hinkley, director of adult social care and health, said they would be consulting on the closure of both facilities.
He said this would be a ‘comprehensive process’ and a further decision would have to be made by the cabinet after the consultation had taken place.
At the end of this process if closures were not proposed the council would have to find alternative savings.
Milton Grange provides intermediate care to meet a range of needs for older adults, including the provision of intermediate care beds with nursing. It was rated ‘Outstanding’ in its latest CQC report.
And Firwood House is a care home which provides nursing and rehabilitation; it was rated ‘Good’ in its last report.