Protest held against Stonehouse care home closure plan

DEMONSTRATIONS have been held to protest against proposals to shut a Stonehouse care home – one of four facing possible closure in the county.

Protesters, including residents and county, district and town councillors, gathered outside The Elms care home, in Stonehouse on Thursday, April 14.

The Gloucestershire County Council owned care home provides residential, respite and nursing care for up to 45 people.

The council said demand for places in care homes has dropped, but accepts its closure plans will ’cause concern’.

A public consultation about the proposals is currently underway.

Speaking at the protest, Gloucestershire County Councillor Steve Robinson (Labour, Nailsworth) said: “If this closure goes ahead it will be the third residential home Gloucestershire County Council have closed in the Stroud area over the last three years.

“This leaves no residential home directly owned by GCC in the Stroud area. So, if they don’t pay for private beds, families will have to travel miles to see their loved ones”.

Watch: Stroud District Councillor Mattie Ross (Labour, Stonehouse) speaks out against the plans:

Stroud District Councillor Mattie Ross (Labour, Stonehouse) said: “I’ve been contacted by local people who have relatives in The Elms and they are concerned that so little notice was given of the proposed closure.

“It’s a huge concern for them, this is their home, this is where they live, and the future for them is so uncertain.

“This is about people, real people.”

Stonehouse Town Councillor, Keith Terry (Labour) said: “The consultation states increased costs and recruitment issues are behind the proposal, not need in the local community.

“The closure of The Elms would mean vulnerable people with complex needs will be forced either to live in the community, with the very limited care that this involves, or to pay for private care.

“Staff are also concerned for their future.

“Our care residents deserve better than this.”

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire county council, said: “These proposals reflect the outcome of the market engagement we carried out last year and the changing needs and preferences of Gloucestershire residents.

“I understand closing homes will cause concern to residents living in them and their families.”

A final decision on the closure is due to be made in June.

Also proposed to close are Orchard House in Bishop’s Cleeve, Westbury Court in Westbury, Forest of Dean, and Bohanam House in Gloucester.

To take part in the county council consultation, which runs until May 20, visit: bit.ly/3Olypqu

A petition, currently with almost 400 signatures, has also been started at: bit.ly/3Mcmrxq

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