Doncaster care homes threatened with closure set to be saved

Campaigners pictured previously handing in a protest to Doncaster Council over the planned care home closures
Campaigners pictured previously handing in a protest to Doncaster Council over the planned care home closures

Seven Doncaster old people’s homes threatened with closure are set to be saved from the axe.

Doncaster Council is set to give the go-ahead to bring in private firms to run the town’s remaining seven old people’s homes.

The cabinet is expected to grant the powers to Mayor Ros Jones, cabinet member Chris Mills and senior council officials to sort out contracts, with the decision due on Wednesday.

The homes originally had been due to be closed as part of a plan to save £109 million.

The council will be forking out on one-off transition payments to the companies taking the homes over.

But the authority is keeping the sums secret, claiming it is commercially sensitive.

A report says five organisation had registered an interest and ‘there is a good prospect of a successful outcome to this exercise’.

However, if no bids are deemed satisfactory for any of the homes they will be closed down.

The homes affected are Gattison House in Rossington, Oldfield House in Stainforth, Owston View in Skellow, Rose House in Armthorpe, Rowena House in Conisbrough, Stenson Court in Balby, and Plantation View in Cantley. Firms would be expected to sign a long-term lease, which will ensure the buildings are used as old people’s homes.

Pauline Collins, whose 88-year-old father has dementia and is a resident in Rowena House, has campaigned to save the homes.

She said a takeover by a private provider was a victory for the campaign because it meant residents would not have to move.

But she voiced concern over the care residents would receive in the private sector.

Protests were held outside some of the homes when their planned closures were announced last year.

The council is offering each home to private operators separately but is considering bids for multiple homes.

The award of contracts will look at the experience each company has in the care home business and any plans they have for changing practices within the homes.

New admissions at the homes are currently suspended but are expected to resume once a contact is in place.

Mayor Ros Jones said: “When we consulted over the potential closure of these care homes, many people told us they would like us to look at a way of keeping them open.

“My cabinet and I have listened to the concerns of local people and are doing all we can to keep these residents in their homes.

“We are confident there is interest from the independent sector in running these homes and I hope we will receive some strong bids.”