Sheffield Council boss has his say on dementia care home residents facing eviction by NHS chiefs

Phil Holmes, director of adult services at Sheffield Council.
Phil Holmes, director of adult services at Sheffield Council.

Sheffield Council and the NHS 'need to improve' the way they work after dementia care home residents were told they face eviction.

Phil Holmes, director of adult services, made the remarks after Sheffield NHS Clincical Commissioning Group said 17 residents with complex dementia needs will have to move out following funding reviews at Birch Avenue in Chapeltown and Woodland View in Norton.

Campaigners and family members of residents outside Birch Avenue care home in Chapeltown

Campaigners and family members of residents outside Birch Avenue care home in Chapeltown

The process has been heavily criticised by family members and campaigners advising those going through the funding reviews. Sheffield MP Angela Smith, said the move by the CCG was 'disgraceful'.

Sheffield Council are now in the process of carrying out their own assessments on residents affected. The social care boss said the local authority 'can't negate or overturn' a decision made by the CCG but will 'raise concerns' if they disagree.

Campaigners have said the CCG has 'passed the buck onto the council'. Mr Holmes didn't agree with these claims but said the volume of people passed onto the council is 'unfortunate'.

Speaking to The Star, he said: "The council and the CCG need to co-ordinate better in these situations and at the highest level, both parties will be communicating about this situation both with supporting people who are affected and also with to making sure these types of situations don't get repeated.

Woodland View in Norton.

Woodland View in Norton.

"Clearly, the biggest concerns is are with family members that are affected.

"We need to improve the way we work together and make sure these situations don't happen again.

"Families have every right to expect us to manage this in a more co-ordinated way. The CCG made it clear people have an annual right to review their needs, it's unfortunate so many of these reviews have been carried out at the same time

"Where the CCG have satisfied themselves and they don't have a responsibility to that person under the continuing healthcare framework, it is by definition for the council to pick up.

Mr Holmes said in general terms, the needs of certain residents could have changed and where frailty becomes a bigger issue than behavioural problems.

"Any move is very difficult, I 100 per cent agree with that.

"Talking generally, there are some who as they grow older, frailty becomes more of an issue but the behaviour of people around then becomes more of a risk to them - That's a delicate balance to strike, he said.

"We're trying to manage this difficult situation in a sensitive and caring way and ourselves at the council want to make sure families can work with us

"We can't negate or overturn a decision made by the CCG but what we can do is try not to compound any concerns families have.

"It shouldn't be about experts dictating what should happen, there should be a wider conversation with everyone involved."