Your Letters: Councillor explains his concerns over the potential Charlton House Care Home closure.

Last week the scrutiny panel for Children, Adults Health and Well-being considered the proposal by B&NES Council to close the Charlton house nursing home at Keynsham.

We noted that B&NES has invested in the centre since bringing the service back in house in 2020 from Virgin Care. This follows a pattern of private firms handing back contracts they cannot fulfil due to insufficient funding.

There is no doubt that there is a crisis in social care as the Care Quality Commission has already noted there is an overall shortage of beds, a need for more GP’s and an increase in older people with needs which are not being met. The CQC statistics show that one in eight older people have unmet social care needs which is a 48% increase since 2010. Caring often falls on family members who struggle to take respite from this responsibility with 40% not having a break in over a year (CQC 2017).

There was considerable debate and the panel agreed that more information was required before it could make a decision on the recommendation for closure. There were concerns staff had not been properly consulted on these proposals. My further concern is that that seems to have been managed decline with the closure of beds, so the service was being deliberately run down due to funding constraints.

B&NES cabinet met on February 8th and supported the proposal for closure. It’s just not clear as to whether other care homes in the area will suffer the same fate in the long term. Staff are absolutely devastated at this decision and it is a mark of their professionalism that the CQC graded Care as “Good”.

Surely there will be a long-term impact of this on the health and well-being of all our residents that the Cabinet has not taken into consideration and we should all be very concerned about this as it will impact on us and our loved ones.

Yours sincerely,

Cllr Lesley Mansell