City council social services bosses in Birmingham have decided which old people’s home closures will be postponed for three to five years as a result of the recession.
They have now approved the criteria to decide which of 15 homes, part of a second phase of closures, will remain open for the medium term.
Birmingham City Council is already part of the way through the closure programme with eight of the city’s 29 care homes closed along with six attached day centres.
It was planned to replace the council-owned homes with private sector and charity-run care homes such as the new Extra Care retirement village at New Oscott.
But with private-sector developers delaying building plans due to the recession the council has no option to put the closure programme on hold.
Birmingham City Council’s cabinet has now approved criteria for selecting when the 15 homes in the second phase will close. One closure from the first phase, the Heathway, has also been put back.
Cabinet member for Adults and Communities Sue Anderson said: “The closure of elderly person’s homes remains a priority, but in the light of new financial circumstances, the rate of change and closure is being reviewed.”
The first set to close will be Annie Wood in Ladywood, Briarscroft, Hodge Hill, Edwin Arrowsmith, Ladywood, Lyttleton House, Northfield, Wallace Lawler, Edgbaston and Woodside, Selly Oak.
A second set of homes will be reassessed in 2010.
These are: Barncroft in Erdington, Bushmere House, Yardley, The Roundabout, Northfield, Ruby Rhydderch, Yardley and West Heath House, Northfield. Four homes, Druids Meadow in Selly Oak, George Canning, Hodge Hill, Guestholme, Selly Oak and Norton Grange, Northfield. They are deemed to be in good repair and, with no private sector alternatives nearby, could remain open until 2015.
It would be made clear to anyone who wanted to move into one of those homes that they are due to close and people would be offered alternatives.
Coun Anderson (Lib Dem, Sheldon) also claimed that closures already completed had been a success with high satisfaction levels among residents.
She said: “I am happy to say that the moves so far have not affected anyone’s health and that, where possible, friends have stayed together.”