Fresh appeal to save nursing homes

RELATIVES of residents at two specialist dementia nursing homes in Sheffield that are threatened with closure stepped up the pressure this week for a the health authority to think again.

Members of the ‘Save My Home’ campaign, which is trying to secure a future for Birch Avenue nursing home in Chapeltown and Woodland View nursing home in Norton, took their fears to a council health and community committee.

NHS Sheffield, the city’s primary care trust, is currently in consultation over a proposal to cut the £2.8m the homes currently receive in crucial top-up funding.

The PCT says the homes are twice as expensive as other facilities offering the same kind of care but Dr John Ashton, who travelled to the council meeting from Birmingham, said the trust was failing to appreciate and understand the highly specialist nature of the nursing care provided by the homes.

Dr Ashton, whose sister was cared for at Birch Avenue, said: “These are very difficult people to deal with and they need specialist care from specialist nurses. That is what there is at Birch Avenue and how well they provide it.”

Judith Gregory, of the Sheffield branch of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We are particularly concerned that at this stage there appears to be a proposal on the table without any clear indication that there would be suitable places to move to.”