Cash-strapped council bosses will save £1 million a year if controversial plans to close a care home go-ahead.
Mayor Ros Jones disclosed the figure at a consultation meeting with the relatives of residents at Home Covert, which is set to be turned into an assessment unit for people leaving hospital in a bid to free up hospital beds.
Mrs Jones explained how part of the £1 million saving would come from moving the unit, currently based at Tickhill Road Hospital, as council bosses would no longer have to pay Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust for use of its site. She added: “The site at Tickhill Road is not meeting standards in the long term. No decision has been made yet on the change of use of Home Covert. But I want to be up front by saying we do need to make savings of £109 million across the borough and some tough decisions will need to be made.”
A decision on the fate of Home Covert, in The Avenue, Bentley, will be made on December 18. If it closes the home’s 35 residents - who are people with dementia or learning difficulties, will all be forced to find somewhere else to live as soon as March.
Diane Field, sister of Christopher Beardsmore, who is one of the residents told the meeting that the move would be ‘heartbreaking’ for her brother, and would mean he was ‘ripped away’ from carers and friends he had been with for 12 years.
Mrs Field, of Rossington, added: “Most of the residents here have been together for all of their DMBC lives and the staff here are like their parents. If you move them they will be lost.”
Joan Beck, the council’s director of adult and community services told the meeting that no alternative care facilities for Home Covert residents had been found yet, but added that if the plans went ahead the authority would look to offer bespoke arrangements for each of the residents.