Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield nursing homes face closure if funding is cut

Two nursing homes in Sheffield are likely to close if part of their annual funding is withdrawn by the city's NHS health board.

NHS Sheffield currently provides £2.8m every year towards the cost of running Birch Avenue and Woodland View care homes, where there are 100 places.

The trust's board says it can no longer justify the funding and will consider withdrawing it.

It added that if this happened the homes would "almost certainly" close.

Extra cost

Options for the homes will be considered at NHS Sheffield's board meeting on 11 January.

NHS Sheffield said the £2.8m was needed because the homes were twice as expensive as other homes providing care for people with similar health needs.

Interim chief executive Ian Atkinson said: "We are working with the two housing associations, Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, and residents, families, carers and staff to ensure they are fully informed about the forthcoming board discussion.

"We know that the quality of care provided at Birch Avenue and Woodland View is high, but there is no evidence that they provide sufficient additional value to justify this extra cost to the taxpayer and to NHS services in Sheffield."

He added that if the board decided to withdraw funding there would be a three month consultation with residents, their staff and families.

'Difficult decisions'

"We are aware that if the board decides it must withdraw the money and use it on other much needed Sheffield care and treatment, that this will affect all residents and staff at the homes as it would almost certainly lead their closure."

A spokesman for Guinness Northern Counties, which operates the Woodland View home, said: "We are aware of the very challenging funding situation faced by NHS Sheffield and the difficult decisions its board is having to take.

"During this time of uncertainty our priority is to work with NHS Sheffield to ensure that all residents, families and staff who may be affected by this situation are kept fully informed and given every opportunity to have their views heard and their concerns addressed."

The South Yorkshire Housing Association, which runs Birch Avenue, said it would not be commenting ahead of Tuesday's meeting.

There are 100 places at the two homes.

NHS Sheffield said if the board decided to withdraw funding, the homes would not close until 2012.

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