Anger over Doncaster council’s care home transfer

CareGate group outside Rose House care home. The group has successfully campaigned to keep care homes in Doncaster open
CareGate group outside Rose House care home. The group has successfully campaigned to keep care homes in Doncaster open

Protesters have continued their bitter war of words with Doncaster Council despite the borough’s care homes being transferred into private ownership.

After the official handover of seven in-house care homes to private provider Runwood Homes on September 1, the council announced that it would be holding a special event to ‘mark the milestone’ at each of the venues over the next month.

Private care provider Runwood Homes agreed to take on the ownership of the homes – Rowena House, Oldfield House, Rose House, Stenson Court, Plantation View, Owston View, and Gattison House – earlier this year.

This followed a bitter and drawn-out battle by the Caregate action group, which campaigned to keep the homes open after the cash-strapped local authority announced it would be closing all of the homes in a bid to save £1.927 million from its annual budget.

After Caregate’s campaign, the council finally took on Runwood to take over the homes’ management instead.

Caregate activist Pauline Collins spoke out over the council’s plans to mark the ownership transfer.

She said: “We’re very happy that Runwood have taken over the homes, and we are confident that they will be able to do a good job.

“None of the Labour councillors voted against closing the care homes,

“Any Labour councillor who attends the handovers at the homes and attempts to gain any credit from the event stands to be accused of the utmost hypocrisy.”

An event to mark the transfer of the Stenson Court care home, based in Greenfield Lane, Balby, was held yesterday and other events are expected to be held in the coming weeks.

Deputy Mayor and cabinet portfolio for adult social care, Coun Glyn Jones, said: “The Mayor and cabinet always agreed that residential homes would remain open while we consulted with residents, families and staff for their views.

“Throughout this whole process we listened to the strength of feeling from those who did not want the residential homes to be closed.

“This is why we explored other options and found a suitable provider in Runwood, who will take on the management of these homes.

“Runwood will make a capital investment of £25m, which will be spent on these homes.

“This is fantastic news for all involved.”