Care homes pledge from council

PLANS to privatise two care homes in North Kirklees will not result in any closures or patients moving, according to council bosses.

Kirklees has begun consulting on the possibility of transferring the running of Ings Grove House in Mirfield and Claremont House in Heckmondwike over to private firms.

The move, which is being discussed by the council’s finance committee, is expected to save cash-strapped Kirklees officials money.

A final decision will be made by the Kirklees cabinet later this year.

Coun Viv Kendrick, cabinet member for adults, confirmed that the council had no intention to close any homes or move their residents elsewhere.

She said: “There is no intention for any of the homes to close and none of the current residents will need to move.

“The council is proposing to work with other organisations to understand how these homes can help meet the local shortage of nursing home care.

“We are also looking at how the homes can support our local hospitals - by providing care that reduces the need for people to be admitted to hospital or enables people to leave hospital earlier and receive their care in a more homely setting.

“We are at the start of a consultation process with residents, families and staff and are making them aware of the proposals that are being considered.

“Any final decision will be taken by cabinet later in the year and will take into account the views expressed.”

The GMB union, which represents public sector workers, has accused the council of taking residents and workers by surprise with the consultation.

GMB organiser for Kirklees Andrew Aldwinkle said: “The council has sprung this on staff and residents at the last minute without any consideration of the impact.

“For some staff this is not the first time they have been through this process.

“While we recognise the pressure on council budgets, it is immoral that services such as these are seen only in terms of financial profit or loss. We call on the council to put a halt on the proposals and to protect these essential front line services.”

Coun Kendrick said she was willing to meet with the GMB to discuss the issues.

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