Sunday 25th February 2018,
North Yorks Enquirer

“The Closure of 101”

A Letter to the Editor from Johanna MacMAHON of Scarborough, lamenting the decision to close 101 Prospect Mount Road – NYCC’s much-loved Scarborough Residential Home.

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Dear Sir,

SHAME on NYCC – and SHAME on Dale Owens, Assistant Head of Social Services & Adult Care at North Yorkshire County Council.

101 Prospect Mount Road will be shut by April 30th 2018; this is now official.

The remaining staff at 101 have been formally informed by NYCC following the Council’s executive meeting on 30/01/18.

On October 23rd ‘17, NYCC summoned all the staff at 101 to attend a meeting where they were informed that there was a Consultation opened and a decision regarding 101’s future was to be made on 30/01/18.

At the meeting, Dale Owens stated that the Council was in fact recommending closure.

The reasons provided were;

1. The building is unfit for purpose.

2. The cost of keeping a person at the facility “is far in excess of the cost of providing care at a privately run establishment”, (£1,500  at 101 versus £500 in private care!).

3. It was stated that 98% of the population are happy with the Council’s management of the Social Care budget. My comment is that the building is not beyond upgrading (it is in use at present), the cost of care provision figures are a fabrication and it would be very interesting to know who exactly the 98% people surveyed from among the public were?

The 55 permanent staff members have been forced to seek alternative employment or to face unemployment. The local people of Scarborough are set to lose this invaluable and irreplaceable service.

NYCC, rather than publicising and lauding the service provided by 101 Prospect Mount Road, have decided to hit the vulnerable in our society, to make an easy financial saving.

Perhaps some re-organisation within their own ranks in Northallerton could have achieved the necessary budgetary savings?

It seems acceptable to Mr Owens et al to bulldoze over the local people’s wishes.

As I see it, the local people were excluded so that NYCC could do as they wish. The Service provision at 101 is threefold;

  • firstly, permanent residential care for 9 people with Dementia;
  • secondly, Rolling Respite, comprising 3 beds to provide a respite break to families who care for a relative at home; and
  • thirdly,The Homeward Service, which is a short stay bed for frail people not quite ready to go back home on discharge out of hospital.

The Homeward Service is nothing short of ‘a little gem’ in these times of budgetary cuts and the removal of choices from those vulnerable elderly in our society.

In truth, it provides a genuine choice for those who want to live in their own homes and it can free up bed spaces in our local NHS hospital.

Of course everything costs money and must be paid for, and the majority of us will live to depend upon some service or other as we advance in years.

The Conservative Government and NYCC are effectively removing choices for people as they grow older and more frail; this is not promoting independence and choice.They are effectively forcing people into those privately run ‘Care Homes’ – most of which are run for profit and are answerable to their shareholders.

With the NHS bed crisis newsworthy on a daily basis, why did NYCC go into Consultation solely with themselves? Why did they not  invite the relevant significant others to be involved? Could the financial wherewithal have been secured had a proper consultation been initiated?

A real/proper consultation should surely have included:

·      The service users & their families,

·      Local GP practices,

·      the Scarborough NHS Hospital,

·      York NHS Trust,

·      Social & Mental Health Services, and

·      the Voluntary charitable bodies who provide services for the elderly & the most vulnerable in our society.

NYCC have taken the easy option to make a saving in the short term.

The  population of Scarborough deserves better from our Government and from our Council.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Johanna MacMahon

Joanna MacMAHON, Scarborough. 5th February, 2018.

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