Highfield Grange closure still proposed for March next year

THE future remains bleak for Highfield Grange at Wombwell.

A meeting took place last week, to consider again proposals to close the intermediate care home that is the last of its kind in the borough.

The centre is run jointly by Barnsley Council and NHS Barnsley, but there is a funding gap that neither party feels able to fill.

A campaign by unions and users to keep the centre open is ongoing.

The Council’s Personal and Family Wellbeing Scrutiny Commission met to hear Barnsley Hospital representatives tell how acute care could suffer if effective intermediate care arrangements are not in place.

The Chair of the Commission, Coun Jennifer Worton, said: “We are very concerned about the potential impact on vulnerable people if Highfield Grange closes on March 31. Unless effective arrangements are put in place for people needing intermediate care services there could be real problems.

“We have asked both organisations to review any potential for additional funding to maintain the current service”.

A Barnsley Council spokesman said: “Highfield Grange at Wombwell provides intermediate care for people who are either discharged from hospital but aren’t quite ready to go home, or people who may otherwise be admitted to hospital without a short period of care. Further to last Thursday’s meeting, transitional arrangements for the service remain as planned, with a change in site for delivery from March next year. Some additional short-term resources have been identified which will assist with any costs associated with the transitional care arrangements”.

If you are affected by the possible closure of Highfield Grange and would like to share your views and experiences with the scrutiny commission, call (01226) 773066 or email: ElizabethBarnard@Barnsley.gov.uk