Stanhope care home mooted for closure is good facility, CQC reports, as councillor raises concern over fate of the home's cat

The Northern Echo: Weardale County Councillor John Shuttleworth with Maisy the cat Weardale County Councillor John Shuttleworth with Maisy the cat

A COUNTY Durham residential home earmarked for closure has scored top marks in its latest inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Newton House, in Stanhope, was deemed to be meeting all the standards laid out by the commission when inspectors last visited in September.

The home, which houses around 25 people, is one of five which Durham County Council is consulting upon.

The council is looking at three options for the five homes, including retaining the homes under local authority control, handing them over to private companies to run, or closure.

Residents in Weardale are opposed to the closure of Newtown House and said it is a valuable place to live for the dale’s older residents, with figures showing that more than ten per cent of the dale’s 7,000 residents are over 75.

Two weeks ago protestors formed a circle of love and protection around the home, while Deacon Sue Peat chained herself to the gates.

The council is consulting on the options until January 19 as it strives to save £100m.

As well as stressing the importance of the home for the residents, Weardale county councillor John Shuttleworth also said Newton House has provided a safe refuge for a cat called Maisy since 1997.

Councillor Shuttleworth said: “The cat has become part of the furniture at Newtown House, the residents love having her around and I don’t know what would happen to her if the home were to close.

“People might laugh about it, but the fact is if we can get upset about a cat being made homeless, imagine how much worse it will be for the current residents when they are told they are being moved even further away from their friends and family and the place they call home.”

In their report, the CQC inspectors said they found Newton house to be a “calm and friendly atmosphere” in a “warm and well-maintained” building.

The report said: “People we spoke with told us that the staff treated them with dignity and respect. One person told us ‘I don't think you could get any better anywhere’.

“Another person who lived in Newtown House told us ‘The staff here and the care they give are the best’.”

The other homes affected are Cheveley House, in Belmont, near Durham City; Feryemount, in Ferryhill; Grampian House, in Peterlee; and Mendip House, Chester-le-Street.

Comments (1)

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11:39am Tue 24 Dec 13

settheworldonfire says...

The council have made up their minds...CLOSURE..Wel
l why don-t we decide to close down D.C.C....simple don-t pay council tax..The courts could not cope with all the cases....No-one vote for any councilors at the next election.....PEOPLES VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE....MAYBE THE GOVERNMENT WILL STEP IN...BUT I DOUBT IT...ANYONE KNOW WHAT THE YEARLY RUNNING COSTS ARE?
The council have made up their minds...CLOSURE..Wel l why don-t we decide to close down D.C.C....simple don-t pay council tax..The courts could not cope with all the cases....No-one vote for any councilors at the next election.....PEOPLES VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE....MAYBE THE GOVERNMENT WILL STEP IN...BUT I DOUBT IT...ANYONE KNOW WHAT THE YEARLY RUNNING COSTS ARE? settheworldonfire

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