Son’s anger over Doncaster council’s re-homing plan

Paul Skidmore with his mum Doreen, who is being pressured by Clifton Court to find a new care home. Picture: Andrew Roe

Paul Skidmore with his mum Doreen, who is being pressured by Clifton Court to find a new care home. Picture: Andrew Roe

The son of an elderly woman who is the last remaining resident in a failing care home has accused Doncaster Council of ‘bullying’.

Paul Skidmore, aged 51, is responsible for organising care arrangements for his 86-year-old mother, Doreen, who has been a resident at the privately-run Clifton Court care home for six years after suffering from a stroke.

At an ‘emergency meeting’ held by Doncaster Council on August 18, Paul, along with other residents and their family members, was told all of the residents would need to find alternative accommodation due to failing care standards at Clifton Court.

Three separate inspections carried out at the home this year by the Care Quality Commission - the most recent of which took place on August 12 - found the home was failing to meet four out of five basic national care standards.

Paul, of Crusader Drive, Sprotbrough, says the council assured everyone at the meeting that residents would be given ‘sufficient time’ to find a new care home.

But Paul says he was called by the council just 24 hours later, asking if he had found new accommodation for his mother. He said he feels he is being ‘bullied’ and ‘harassed’ into moving her out as quickly as possible.

“This is a long-term decision you can’t just rush,” he said. “These are people, not animals, they’re dealing with. I understand why they have taken this decision but it’s the way they’re treating everyone that’s upset me.

“They haven’t put any thought in to people’s needs, just on forcing this closure.”

Mrs Skidmore and her family hoped she would be able to move to Richmond care home, also in Sprotbrough, but it is currently full to capacity.

She is now the only remaining resident at Clifton Court, and would ideally like to wait for work to be completed at a new care home being built at Woodlands in two weeks’ time before she moves - as she believes that may help to free up places at Richmond.

The local authority says it is likely to move Mrs Skidmore temporarily to the council-run Owston View care home in Carcroft shortly, which is currently undergoing a phased closure.

Mr Skidmore says he thinks residents and their families should have been given a month to find new accommodation.

“I was told by one woman at the council that the home would be closing last Thursday, and she’d have to be out by then. Then I was told by another it wasn’t closing just yet.

“I think they’re just lying to people to make them do what they want.

“They’re forcing people to make decisions they don’t want to make. My mother doesn’t want to go to the home in Carcroft because she’d be further away from me and my dad. And why should she have to?”

Pat Higgs, Assistant Director of Adult Social Care at Doncaster Council, says the owner of Clifton Court has been unable to provide adequate care during the re-homing process, which has ‘intensified the need to find appropriate new homes for all the residents quickly’.

He added: “We have worked closely with the residents and their families to find their preferred home and, in the vast majority of cases, we have moved them in within a short timeframe.

“We are working with Mrs Skidmore’s preferred home to try to accommodate her, but we have offered to move her temporarily while talks are ongoing.”




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