Bristol council-run care homes under threat

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Bristol's seven council-run day care centres and 10 of its 12 residential care homes could be closed under new proposals from the authority.

The plan would release £20m to be reinvested in measures to designed to give older people more independence.

Councillor Jon Rogers, the cabinet member for care, said there were "better ways of doing it".

David Smallacombe, the chairman of Care and Support West, said the city council needed to listen to care specialists.

'Better ways'

"The closing of residential care homes and moving into a different way of providing care is supportable but the city council needs to talk to experts in the area," he said.

Bristol City Council said it wants to reinvest the cash into measures designed to encourage older people to stay at home for longer as well as new housing with care support.

Mr Rogers said the plan made sense as many people were travelling long distances to use the current day care facilities.

"Most people don't want to traipse across town and sit in a day centre," he said.

"They want to look at getting employment - particularly people with learning difficulties.

"They want to get their own housing and get their own place in the community."

He added that alternative schemes could be more beneficial to users.

"At the moment, we're putting a lot of money into day centres and the evidence is that there are better ways of doing it."

But John Williams, a campaigner for care homes in South Gloucestershire who fought unsuccessfully to keep them open, said he "did not like the sound" of the plan.

He said those involved should "set up a fighting group straight away".

"If the cabinet is going to make a decision then they need to get in first before that decision is taken."

The council is due to make a final decision in September and has pledged to discuss the issue at a series of public meetings later this month and in July.

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