Campaigners fighting to save a nursing home from closure have lost their fight.
On Tuesday Caerphilly County Borough Council’s cabinet took the decision to close the Ty Darran care
Families and friends of the home’s eleven residents had been campaigning to save it, collecting a petition of more than 13,000 signatures and marching through Risca.
The Plaid-controlled council decided to close Ty Darran arguing there was a surplus of spaces and that parts of the 36-bed home were not fit for purpose.
The council has said the number of spaces at care homes in the county borough has increased because of the authority’s success in supporting people in their own homes.
Hope was raised that the home could be saved when the council’s health, social care and well-being scrutiny committee discussed options to keep the home open.
However the council’s cabinet was told the alternative plan would have cost the local authority £332,000 a year in extra staffing costs plus £400,000 in building work.
Cabinet member for social services, Councillor Judith Pritchard said: “The decision was not taken lightly and we went to great efforts to ensure that, as a cabinet, we were in full possession of all the relevant information before agreeing an outcome. I would like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation over the last few months for their valuable contributions.
“We know that this is a very sensitive issue and emotions are running high in the community, but we must not let our hearts rule our heads. We had a responsibility to take a balanced, rational decision after considering all the facts. Our main consideration in reaching this decision was the continual and sustained commitment to the highest levels of care for all of the vulnerable people in our communities.”
The decision to close Ty Darran follows the completion of a 12-week consultation with residents, relatives, staff, trade unions and local councillors.
Cllr Pritchard added: “It is important to recognise that the need for residential and nursing care facilities has changed over recent years and there are now surplus beds in the area. We also want to modernise the way we care for older people – moving away from traditional care homes and enabling more people to remain in their own homes with appropriate support.
“Our main aims now are to ensure the health and wellbeing of the residents currently staying at Ty Darran; to keep disruption to a minimum and ensure that their transition to other care facilities is achieved in a smooth and considerate manner.”
Director of Social Services, Albert Heaney said: “It’s never easy to put forward a recommendation such as this, but it is only after working through all the possible solutions that we have arrived at this conclusion.
“We need to ensure the best levels of care for our elderly residents, but we also need to deliver key frontline community services making the best use of available resources. Our main focus now is to provide alternative arrangements that are in the best interests of the residents at the home and their families.”
Campaigners have vowed to fight on with a legal challenge.