Second Lincoln care home to close by May

Linelands Care Home in Nettleham, near Lincoln, is set to close by the end of May, with alternative care found for the 40 people currently using the centre.

Lincolnshire County Council estimates savings of £2.5 million by the end of 2013 from the closure of eight care homes in the county.

Linelands, along with Bonner House in Sleaford and Harrison House in Grantham, is part of the second wave of care home closures by the council.

Linelands has 12 respite beds, 15 intermediate care beds and 46 day care places, catering for people with dementia and with high dependancy needs.

The move to close the centre is in line with national government plans to transfer care service users onto personal budgets.

The County Council says it should be able to implement personal budget with Linelands service users by the end of May.

The first wave of care home closures included Park View in Lincoln, The Cedars in Gainsborough, Ingelow Manor in Boston, Halmer Grange in Spalding and Crowtree House in Louth.

Interim Assistant Director of Adult Social Care Commissioning, Terry Hawkins, explained that if sufficient replacement care is not found for residents, Linelands would stay open later than May.

“After closing the five homes last year ahead of schedule, we feel we can safely provide the residents with independent care and care brokerage support within three months, but Linelands will not close before,” said Hawkins.

Trade unions are opposed to further care home closures, explained Gavyn Graham, Lincolnshire’s UNISON representative.

He said: “The council have completely disregarded the views and wishes of staff and the people of Lincolnshire who have repeatedly stated throughout this and previous consultations that the homes and the services they provide should remain public.

“These closures effectively take away any safety net provided by the public sector and leaves vital services exposed to the profit chasers and financial speculators.”

Executive Member for Adult Social Care, Councillor Graham Marsh, assured sufficient alternative choices for care are in place.

“We’ve worked hard to identify and create those alternatives by stimulating the market and high-quality choice, with sufficient vacancies and specialism, now exists in each area,” said Marsh.

The council is also exploring alternative uses for the Linelands site, such as a dementia hub alongside adjacent supported living accommodation, Church View.

The latest closures will bring the total adult social care job losses to 315 countywide, including at the two Lincoln sites, Swallow Lodge and Linelands.

Staff has been offered training to find other care jobs, as well as support to set up their own businesses to offer services to those using personal allowances.

Supported living accommodation next to Linelands, Church View, could be turned into a dementia care hub