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Care home closed in strategy switch

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: January 01, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

Care home closed in strategy switch

Springhill which has been closed

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A SECOND council-run residential care home in a Leek street has closed its doors.

The move comes as it emerged the first is now being rented to a “small number” of tenants.

Springhill residential care home is adjacent to Kniveden Hall on Mount Road, which was also shut by Staffordshire County Council, in 2008.

The authority said Springhill was now in the process of being decommissioned and that all the former residents had been resettled into a mixture of accommodation and support.

The council also stated that staff had either found new employment, moved to other roles with the authority or moved to support residents in their new homes.

Alan White, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for care, said: “We are totally committed to ensuring all residents have access to the support they need to live rewarding, independent lives as part of the community for as long as possible.

“As part of a programme to transform care, all residents at Springhill were assessed and we worked closely with them and their families and carers to explore options that reinforce opportunities for ordinary living, choice and where possible a greater chance for independence.

“These alternative options have not all been reliant on residential care. Some people have moved into their own properties and are supported as tenants.

“This took place over many months as we wanted to ensure each resident received the best option for them and I am delighted that all residents are settled in new homes and are receiving the modern day care and support they need, which in some cases is still being provided by carers from Springhill.”

During the last five years Kniveden Hall has cost council taxpayers £19.500 to maintain.

The Post & Times has now been told that several people are now using the building for private residential use.

When asked why nothing had been done with Kniveden Hall a council spokesman said that the intention was to re-use the site for Extra Care Housing and it was included in a Social Care Property Strategy for this purpose.

He added: “Staffordshire Moorlands was in one of the later phases of the programme so the site has been retained to see if we could use it for alternative use.

“We are continuing to work with potential providers to explore the best options for the site for people living locally. There are a small number of people who are currently occupying accommodation at Kniveden and all are on temporary agreements. Planning permission is not necessary; they are not private dwellings, and the occupants do not have tenants’ rights.”

Leader of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, Sybil Ralphs, said her authority signed a partnership agreement with the county council almost three years ago for the site to be redeveloped.

She said: “A partnership agreement was signed to the effect that Kniveden would become for the first centre of excellence in the county of Staffordshire. It is planned that it would be a resource for the care of dementia patients.

“That is what we will continue to take forward to provide this much needed facility.”

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