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Ferryhill care home resident and family urge council to save home
ONE of the oldest residents of five care homes facing closure by a cash-strapped council has issued a plea to the authority to leave her home alone.
Centenarian Dorothy Kinsey and her family are urging Durham County Council to save Feryemount, in Ferryhill, and its residents from the heartache and upheaval of a move.
Last week the council began consultation about the future of Feryemount along with Grampian House, in Peterlee; Mendip House, in Chester-le-Street; Newtown House, in Stanhope; and Cheveley House, in Belmont; which was recently vacated due to a leaking roof and structural damage.
Mrs Kinsey moved to Feryemount from her own home, in Newton Aycliffe, in April and celebrated her 100th birthday there in July.
She said: “I want a quiet, settled life and this really puts a kibosh on it.
“After getting to 100 who would expect this upheaval? I don’t need it at my time of life and wish they’d leave the home alone.”
Mrs Kinsey’s daughter Freda Peacock, of Newton Aycliffe, said: “I go every day and think the staff are brilliant and it is a lovely environment.
“Since consultation started she has asked every day if it is closing, it is upsetting and frightening and I hope they keep Feryemount open.”
Mrs Peacock and her husband David, both 64 and retired, cared for Mrs Kinsey for 15 years before she moved into permanent residential care.
She said: “It has been a very stressful year and this uncertainty is more stress for mam and us.
“A council should be able to put people before money and offer stability.”
More than 80 elderly people are cared for at the homes, which employ around 170 staff.
Closing them and moving residents to independent homes would save the council more than £1m, with a further £3m saved in maintenance and improvement costs.
The council could also retain them and carry out repairs and maintenance as required or find organisations to take over their management.
Nick Whitton, the council’s head of commissioning for children and adult services, said: “At a time of significant financial constraints, we need to consider whether our in-house residential homes are fit for purpose and value for money.
“We note the comments from Mrs Kinsey and her family.
“We will be interviewing service users and their carers as part of the consultation process and we will be starting those interviews in Feryemount next week.”
He said the views of those currently living in the homes and carers, family members, staff and other relevant organisations and individuals would be an extremely important part of the decision.
Consultation continues until Sunday, January 19.
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