Fosters care home to closeBy Laura Herbert
May 15, 2012
A Woodley care home will close, despite objections from devastated staff, residents and families.
Wokingham Borough Council’s executive committee is expected to vote in favour of closing Fosters care home in Fosters Lane at a meeting tonight.
Campaigners have been battling to keep Fosters open and a petition with 1,206 signatures was handed to the council, along with a further 21 names on an e-petition.
A consultation into the care home’s future that was launched in November received 67 responses.
But the home in Fosters Lane has been earmarked for closure as it is in need of a major refurbishment, estimated to cost more than £400,000 in the next two years and more than £700,000 in the next five years. Even then, it would not meet the Care Quality Commission’s standards, according to the council.
Councillor David Lee, leader of the council, said: “Whatever happens in a situation like this is always traumatic.
“It is not a case of ‘let’s close a home because we want to save money’.
“There will be a point at which it would have to close. It is never an easy decision to make of moving residents. If the decision is taken to close the home, they would be moved within the borough.”
Cllr Lee said residents would be offered a place at Alexandra Place in Woodley, Alexandra Grange in Molly Millars Lane or Beeches Manor in Reading Road.
Campaigner Margaret Boys, whose 92-year-old mother Marjorie Hayes was cared for at Fosters until she died in January, said: “I am very disappointed but not surprised.
“I have got a heavy heart because we feel we are talking to a brick wall, but at least we have done our best to highlight it.
“I feel gutted for the residents who have to go through such an upheaval and for the staff.”
A report detailing the recommended decision states that the site should be used to provide accommodation for older people, or spend the money made from the sale of the site on older people.
Initially two options were put forward – closure or keeping the home open in the short-term with its future to be reviewed at a later time. Following the consultation, a further three options were included.
- The council builds a replacement for Fosters in the grounds of the site.
- No further residents are moved into the home and the council close sections of the building, eventually closing the home.
- No further residents are moved into the home and the council close sections of the building, while building a replacement for Fosters on the site.
The report states options three and five are unfeasible because of site constraints, and that option four would lead to problems retaining staff as well as having a detrimental impact on the residents.
Members of the executive committee are due to recommend the home is closed when it meets in the Civic Offices in Shute End tonight from 7pm.