Hereford & Worcester

Bromsgrove's Blackmore House closure 'serious setback'

Critics have attacked the decision to close a care home which provides respite for people with dementia.

Worcestershire County Council is shutting Blackmore House in Bromsgrove in order to save £135,000.

Conservative councillor Phillip Gretton said he was convinced other options were available in the area.

About 1,500 people have signed a petition against the decision, and the county's Labour group has described the decision as a "serious setback".

Councillor Peter McDonald, leader of the labour group in Worcestershire, said: "In Bromsgrove we have a high level of elderly people so Blackmore House is needed more now than ever before.

"This is a serious setback for the people of Bromsgrove and also Redditch because people living there also use the service."

The Worcestershire Pensioners Action Group is also critical of the council's decision.

Brian Hunt from the group said: "Our question is what will happen to these people if they're not able to have access to a facility such as Blackmore House outside the private sector.

"Having been to all the consultations and having been several times to Blackmore House and talked with people there, I haven't met one person that has been welcoming of the closure."

Mr Gretton said: "There are many people that won't be affected and there are some people for whom it will be disruption. People don't like change."

The care home can currently provide up to 60 day care places every week and has 28 beds for overnight care.

It has been run by BCOP, a non-profit organisation, and is set to close between the end of November and the end of January.

The council currently spends £120m out of its annual budget of £300m on providing social care services.

The council said it needed to save £69m by 2015, with £20m of savings planned from April 2012.

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