Camapaigners against the closure of The Spinney Care Home in Chesterfield have reacted with anger after it emrged that Simon Stevens, Service Director Adult Social Care at Derbyshire County Council has declared the consultation into the closure of 7 local authority care homes, including the Spinney Care Home, will be continuing despite the full council meeting to discuss the proposals being cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Toby Perkins, the MP for Chesterfield, has blasted the Council’s decision to go ahead with the consultation. Toby said, “the County Council are cynically using the coronavirus pandemic to avoid the proper scrutiny that is needed on these proposals. If meetings cannot go ahead to discuss the proposals, and the planned protest events set up by the GMB union, local residents and Labour campaigners, have had to be cancelled, then the consultation needs to be halted immediately.”
Councillors were set to discuss the proposals at a full council meeting on Wednesday 18th March. The GMB union had arranged a mass protest outside the meeting at the county hall in Matlock, with scores of concerned residents and family members expected to attend.
Toby added, “Ironically, the current crisis has shown just how important these care homes are. The Spinney Care Home is taking in new residents for the first time in months as health authorities try to free up bed space in hospitals to help prepare for the impact of the coronavirus.
At a time when it is shown how vital these residential placements are to Derbyshire, the County Council is ploughing ahead with their plans but avoiding scrutiny. I call on the County Council to postpone the consultation and focus their current resources on helping our communities during this time of crisis.”