HCC is currently holding a consultation on the proposed closure of Orchard Close Respite Care Home on Hayling Island. Many service users and their families have been devastated by the proposal and are fighting hard to change the minds of HCC bosses who claim that closing the much loved respite care home could save them £650,000 a year, they offer little detail on how this saving is made.
Clients, their families and carers argue that closing the home just doesn’t make sense: the council still has an obligation to find respite care within a system that is already under huge pressure. Why disrupt something that works, and works really well. The specialist knowledge and care provided by the staff will be lost if the home closes. Orchard Close is a special place.
Its staff have become much like extended family to many clients. Staff are trusted, well trained and experienced, it can take years to establish such trust between clients and their care providers. Orchard Close is a social hub; it is a place where friendships are formed, with some clients booking their break when they know friends are also booked in. All this will be lost if the closure takes place.
HCC proposes that clients are redirected to Shared Lives. There are only 23 beds across Hampshire on offer with Shared Lives; no doubt clients will miss the comradery of seeing friends in a familiar setting. Socialisation is a much underestimated benefit of respite care homes.
Self-funded clients were stopped from using Orchard Close some years ago now but their reintroduction could help with the cost of respite care within the county. Opening up a number of beds to clients based in other councils on the Hampshire border could help ease pressure across the South of England and help cover ongoing costs.
What can you do?
·The consultation closes on 21st December, give your response to the proposal by clicking here: https://www.hants.gov.uk/aboutthecouncil/haveyoursay/consultations/orchard-close
·Sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/stop-the-closure-of-orchard-close-respite-centre-on-hayling-island
·You could also contact Councillor Fairhurst directly: firstname.lastname@example.org