Crumbling buildings may force move for care home residents in Dorchester and Weymouth (From Dorset Echo)
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Crumbling buildings may force move for care home residents in Dorchester and Weymouth
THE CLOSURE of two residential homes for people with learning disabilities has moved a step closer.
Members of Dorset County Council’s cabinet have agreed to consult on the closure of Douglas Jackman House in Dorchester and Alexandra Road in Weymouth.
The two facilities currently provide accommodation for 22 adults with learning disabilities with higher support needs and employ around 100 members of staff. However, there are ten vacant beds across the two homes and the Care Quality Commission claims both homes are unfit for full occupancy.
Councillors considered a report that claimed 19 new supported housing places would be made available in Weymouth and Poundbury by early next year that could provide suitable accommodation for the majority of the current residents. The council has also been looking at developing a new ground-floor property in partnership with a housing association to cater for the needs of five of the older residents currently living at Douglas Jackman House.
At the cabinet meeting, acting director for adult and community services Harry Capron stressed to members that the review of residential home provision was not due to any concerns over the standards of care provided but due to the poor condition of the buildings.
He said: “I want to make it absolutely clear that this review is not a reflection on the quality of support the staff provide, they have always provided excellent support.”
Mr Capron added that the council had been considering the ‘long term view’ and ‘direction of travel around supported living’.
However, he made it clear that no decisions had yet been made and the matter would come back to the cabinet to consider again following the consultation process.
Mr Capron said: “No decision has yet been made, this is a consultation exercise about which is the best model of care and support.”
Dorset branch secretary for the Unison union Pamela Jefferies said she was glad the staff’s excellent level of care had been recognised and hoped their skills could be utilised in the future.
She said: “They are an extremely dedicated group of staff who have got many years in service.”