Owl has been informed that so many members of the public have written to Simon Jupp MP that he is holding a public meeting at Shandford at 3pm this Friday (7 Feb).
The BBC Spotlight article yesterday highlighted the concern and incredulity inmates and their relatives have over the proposed closure. It finished with a statement from Abbeyfield that closure would continue on the basis that local professionals had concluded it was unviable, as reported by Owl yesterday.
Local owlets have pointed Owl to the following quotes from County Cllr Christine Channon to the BS Town Council (Cllr Channon is also Simon Jupp’s Agent):
Minutes 23 Sept 2019:
She [Cllr Channon] too was very concerned to learn about the proposed closure of Shandford. She understood that twenty-two Abbeyfield homes were to be closed across the country and four “super homes” were to be built. She said he had contacted Devon County Council (DCC) Adult Services to see if they had been informed of the decision; they had not. She explained that Shandford was well run, financially viable, with all rooms being occupied plus a number of names on the waiting list — she felt the decision was just greed! Five of the residents were aged over 100 years and any move could seriously affect their health. She felt the community needed to get together and support the residents and staff as much as possible. She concluded by advising that HRH The Prince of Wales was Patron of Abbeyfield Society and everyone should write to him with their concerns.
And Minutes 28 Oct 2019
County Cllr Mrs C Channon reported:
Things were moving in a helpful direction regarding Shandford. She was impressed by how the residents of the town had been both concerned and supportive in attempts to keep the home open. She had taken legal advice at Devon County Council (DCC) and it seemed that if the premises were sold, Abbeyfield would be unable to take the asset without providing similar alternative accommodation. She understood there was a view the home could be managed as is and she and others were working to see if it was possible to move forward. She had arranged a meeting with the Chief Executive of Abbeyfield and would report to the Town Council in due course.
By all accounts then, this is not a run-down or derelict place. It has had investment and is of similar size to many local care homes. It has good reviews from the CQC.
Owl can only hope that Simon Jupp’s meeting is not just a PR exercise and that he can knock heads together and look for other options. Closure could have tragic consequences on the old and vulnerable who react badly to being moved from what they regard as their home.