Green Close not under threat- DCC

PUBLISHED: 13:30 09 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:09 17 June 2010

THE future of Sidford s Green Close rehabilitation centre is not under threat according to Devon County Council, despite serious concern from local officials.

THE future of Sidford's Green Close rehabilitation centre is not under threat according to Devon County Council, despite serious concern from local officials.

Reports suggested the valued NHS centre, which aids patients' recoveries from strokes, major operations and injuries, could fall victim to closure as a result of private company Shaw Healthcare's planned takeover of several care homes throughout Devon.

DCC insists Green Close is not under threat and no decisions have been made regarding takeover plans.

A spokesperson said: "Originally, our negotiations had been around transfer of all 24 of our residential homes to Shaw, but that's now changed and we'll be inviting other providers to submit their development proposals as well, following further extensive community consultation work during the spring of this year."

As The Herald went to press yesterday, DCC's Health and Adults Services Overview/ Scrutiny Committee were set to discuss the plans before they go before the council's executive committee on Tuesday (January 13).

It is understood that prior to the talks, the proposals, which would still see some centres taken over by Shaw, would be recommended for approval on Tuesday, subject to the views expressed in yesterday's meeting.

It is not yet known if Green Close would be taken over, but Councillor Christine Drew, East Devon District Council's representative on the committee, fears for its safety if it is.

She said on Wednesday: "The transfer of services to Shaw Health Care is still open to debate, there is a radically altered proposal for the transfer.

"From what we have heard, if Shaw takes over certain centres they would turn them into self- contained units as opposed to residential. We don't yet know what ones it would take over. Green Close does a brilliant job for the community and I want it to stay as it is. I am worried we are going to lose it.

"I shall make my concerns known at the meeting and there will be quite a few opinions."

County councillor Stuart Hughes wants the plans scrapped.

He said: "There are a lot of questions to be answered. Green Close is a flagship for the care and service it provides and long may it continue. I don't want to see its fantastic staff having to work under this cloud. I do have worries for its future if this continues."

"They say it is going out for more consultation but how much more consultation do you need? It's a bad idea and the best thing to do is kick it into touch and start again."

Cllr Hugo Barton, DCC's executive member for adult and community services, said the revised negotiations are "driven by the current economic downturn" and provided an opportunity for the council to "spread our risk with more than one provider.

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