Uncertain future for disabled care home

PUBLISHED: 11:27 23 August 2007 | UPDATED: 12:46 04 May 2010

AN Ely care home for the disabled is under threat just months after a Government inspector raised major concerns. Jasmine House in Upherds Lane could be shut down and its six residents relocated. Its future is in doubt after a Commission for Social Care i

AN Ely care home for the disabled is under threat just months after a Government inspector raised major concerns.

Jasmine House in Upherds Lane could be shut down and its six residents relocated.

Its future is in doubt after a Commission for Social Care inspector flagged up concerns over staffing during an inspection in January.

He discovered there were few regular members of staff at the home and a freeze on recruitment.

Activities for the residents were being restricted or cancelled and when staff were called to take a patient to a hospital appointment it left the home in a "potentially unsafe position in an emergency", the inspector's report said.

"A major concern revolves around the staffing of the service, with few regular members of staff, a reliance on bank staff and a recruitment ban," said the inspector after he visited the Cambridgeshire County Council run home. "Morale is low."

Now senior managers have asked that a decision be reached on Jasmine House's future and residents have been told they could be moving.

Families of those living at the home have been told there will be a formal consultation period before any decisions are made and a project team, involving carers, is being set up.

But Vera Galloway, whose 54-year-old daughter, Ann, has lived at the home for the past 20 years, is worried she may be moved out of the area.

Ann, who suffers from the genetic disease Prader-Willi Syndrome, is showing signs of being upset over the uncertainty, said Mrs Galloway.

Prader-Willi Syndrome causes emotional and mental health problems in sufferers and Mrs Galloway is worried that, if Jasmine House were to close, her daughter could end up in hospital.

The discussions over the future of Jasmine House come as the Government pushes ahead with a national policy to move people out of residential homes into supported independent living.

But George Hunt, Cambridgeshire County Council's area manager for disability services, has reassured families this is not about what the Government wants but what the individuals want.

He added since the report the freeze on recruitment has been lifted.

"We are learning and we need to fully involve the people. We will go with the pace set by the families. The decision will only be made when everything is right.

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