Local Democracy

Arnold care home Leivers Court to close despite more than 500 people signing petition to keep it open

A care home in Arnold is to close – despite concerns being raised about a lack of beds in the area.

More than 500 people signed a petition calling for Nottinghamshire County Council to keep Leivers Court care home open.

One senior councillor who supported the petition to keep the care home open said the decision was a ‘slap in the face’ to the community, and ‘beggars belief.’

But the Conservative-led council says it is no longer ‘fully fit for purpose’, and that a huge amount of work has gone into finding alternative arrangements for residents.

They say the decision was originally taken when Labour was running the council, and that it has already been kept open longer than planned.

But Labour says it only planned to close the care home once proper alternatives were in place, and that this has still not happened.

The council says all long-term residents living in Leivers Court have now moved into alternative placements.

County_Hall_Nottingham
PICTURED: County Hall

The council, along with many others in the UK, promotes a scheme known as ‘extra care’, whereby older residents live in their own apartment, but with carers close by.

This is different – and cheaper to provide – than the traditional residential care home model used at Leivers Court, and supporters say it helps older people remain independent and improves their standard of living.

An extra care scheme is in place nearby, at the St Andrew’s scheme in Mapperley, and has been open since 2015.

A council report on the closure of the care home also pointed out: “Investment in a new home first rapid response service means more people are now able to go directly home after a stay in hospital.

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“This has reduced the number of people who may have needed homecare as part of their discharge plan but because it was not available quickly enough, had to move into a short term residential care bed until it could be arranged.”

The report goes on to say: “The option of keeping Leivers Court home is not viable as the building is no longer fully fit for purpose and is not an optimal model of modern care home design in line with what would now be expected under national minimum standards.

“Also, there is a need to have a diversity of provision in place to both provide appropriate care to people with increasingly complex needs and ensure that people are supported to be as independent as possible, with a focus on re-ablement and a home first approach.”

Cllr Michael Payne represents Arnold North for Labour, and presented the petition to the county council.

He said: “It just beggars belief. We’ve continually been campaigning for a really important community facility to be kept open, and they’ve just flown in the face of public opinion.

“Even when residents and the whole community clearly don’t want it to close, they have decided to do it anyway.

“What is most disappointing is that they’re not only closing it, but they’re not even replacing it with any extra care facilities.

“Everybody knows there’s a desperate need for housing for vulnerable people, and to stop people staying in hospital too long, so I think it’s a retrograde step to close an important facility without cast iron plans to build more extra care beds.”

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