Concerns over Spalding home closure

Halmer Grange in Spalding

Halmer Grange in Spalding

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SPALDING’S Halmer Grange care home will close at the end of September, despite huge opposition.

After months of public consultation, Lincolnshire County Council’s executive took the final decision on Tuesday, saying the move is a “change for the better” for residents.

Free Press office'Rodney Sadd with petition to save Halmer Grange

Free Press office'Rodney Sadd with petition to save Halmer Grange

The Grange Drive home, which offers 22 places for the elderly and disabled, is one of five across the county to be closed, with a further three due to shut next year.

But a Spalding campaigner says the closure is unnecessary, claiming residents could not hope for better facilities or quality of care anywhere else.

Rodney Sadd (pictured), who organised a 500-name petition opposing the plan, said: “I am adamant this is not a change for the better. Elderly people are not bothered about having a modern facility, they just want what Halmer Grange already offers, which is great care from lovely people.

“I am very disappointed by this decision. It’s a great shame and my concern now is what alternative services the people at Halmer Grange will be offered, will it be nearby or will they have to go further afield?”

And he called on the people of Spalding to show their anger at the decision, in the same way traders recently joined forces to oppose plans to introduce pay and display parking meters on town centre streets.

He said: “I know the consultation period is over and the closure is now a foregone conclusion, but I would still like to see a reaction from the people of Spalding.

“If all the people who signed the petition had their say during the consultation I think they would have been forced to listen.”

Following the decision, Richard Collins, head of adult commissioning at Lincolnshire County Council, moved to allay fears about the future for Halmer Grange residents.

He said: “People who currently use Halmer Grange should be fully reassured that we would not have gone ahead with the closure if we weren’t confident that suitable alternatives were in place.

“In fact, all those who require such services now and in the future will benefit from an improved service, in the form of greater choice and more fit for purpose environments than Halmer Grange could provide.”

He said those needing intermediate care will be able to access other high-quality homes in the local area, which the council will continue to pay for, and those in need of respite will be given a personal budget to spend how they prefer. Advice wil be available.

This could include buying a place in a residential home in or around Spalding, arranging support at home or even a short break.

Day services will also be available through personal budgets, and could include help with shopping, meeting friends or enjoying a hobby.

Mr Collins also said everything possible would be done to support about 40 staff at Halmer Grange when the home closes.

He said: “All employees are being offered help to find alternative employment.

“They are also be encouraged to stay in the social care sector through setting up their own social enterprises, for example.”