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Workers stage protest against care home closures
CARE workers who face losing their jobs if five residential homes are closed are to protest outside a council headquarters.
The workers will lobby councillors as they arrive at Durham’s County Hall for a full meeting of Durham County Council on Wednesday morning (October 30).
Facing cuts of £222m by 2017, the Labour-run authority is consulting on three options for the future of the five homes: repair, privatisation and closure.
They are home to 49 people, the eldest of whom is 100 years ago.
Howard Pink, regional organiser for the Unison trade union, said: “Unison’s fear is that the council will put financial considerations above all else and go for the option of closing the homes.
“They must take other factors into account. These establishments are home to frail and vulnerable people; forcing them to move will cause great distress and damage, for some it could even shorten their lives.
“And the jobs of the 170 staff who care for them are at risk. The council really must put compassion before cash.
“Unison urges everyone in Durham who cares about the care homes to tell the council what they think, to make it clear that the people of Durham do not want to see these homes closed down.”
Lesley Jeavons, head of adult care at the council, said: “The current consultation will help the council to understand the views of care home residents, their families and carers, as well as staff and a host of other interested groups and organisations on whether in-house residential care is fit for purpose and value for money.
“At a time of significant financial constraints it is right to consider these important questions and to ensure that everybody’s points of view are listened to.
“This consultation will be completed with great care and the results will be made public before any final decision is made.”
Consultation runs until January 19. To take part, call 03000-265-680, write to the council at Room 2/108-111, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UG or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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