Late call for rethink of plans to close council-run Leeds care home

The Green care home in Seacroft, Leeds. Picture by James Hardisty.
The Green care home in Seacroft, Leeds. Picture by James Hardisty.
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A last-minute plea to delay the possible closure of a popular Leeds care home has been voiced by city scrutiny officials.

Leeds City Council’s health scrutiny board discussed plans to close The Green care home, in Seacroft, with decision makers on Tuesday, calling for further consideration of the quality of care at the facility.

The Green care home in Seacroft, Leeds. Picture by James Hardisty.

The Green care home in Seacroft, Leeds. Picture by James Hardisty.

One member of the panel urged the council to defer any decision to close the home for at least two years after a petition calling for it to be saved was signed by 3,800 people.

Plans to close the facility as well as Middlecross, in Armley, Siegen Manor, in Morley, and four Leeds day centres were announced in September. A decision is to be made by the council’s executive board in June.

Coun Peter Gruen, chair of the health scrutiny board, said: “The nub of the issue is really on the one hand the perilous situation adult social care finds itself in terms of funding and the undoubted and not controversial point that care at the home is good, has been judged to be good, and that care in the private sector is at best variable.”

John Beal, Healthwatch Leeds’ member on the board, said he supports deferring any closure “for a minimum of two years” until the impact of the increase of the national minimum wage is felt amid fears it could result in increased charges for families or poorer standards of care in the private sector.

Closing the three care homes and four day centres could save the council £2million a year.

Stating there is “no question” about the quality of care at The Green, Coun Lisa Mulherin, the council’s executive member for health, said: “This is a question about whether the council, given the level of cuts to its budgets, can continue to do things as we have always done.”

The scrutiny board deferred making recommendations from a report detailing its thoughts until a further meeting following debate over its wording. The report will then go to the council’s executive board before a final decision on the homes is made.

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