Berkshire

Fosters care home in Woodley to be closed by council

A care home in Berkshire is to be closed, affecting 24 residents, some of whom have Alzheimer's disease, and specialist care staff.

Wokingham council decided to shut down Fosters care home in Woodley, built in 1964, which it says is in a "poor condition", after a meeting on Tuesday.

Campaigners had said repairs were not urgent and a public consultation showed people wanted to keep the home open.

Councillor Julian McGhee Sumner said it had been "a very difficult decision".

A petition with more than 1,000 signatures was also given to the council.

'Greatly valued'

Mr McGhee said he understood moving residents could be "disruptive", but said the site required "major refurbishment work" and argued that residents would be moved to "better" care homes.

He said: "It's clear from the consultation that the care provided at Fosters is greatly valued and held in the highest esteem by residents, their families and the local community.

"We've been clear this isn't the reason why we want to close Fosters, there is no doubt that the quality of care is high, but the building is not fit for purpose."

There are currently 22 residential and nursing homes within five miles of Fosters and two extra care schemes.

Places are available at Alexandra Place in Woodley, Beeches Manor and Suffolk Lodge in Wokingham, so all Fosters residents, can stay within the borough if they choose to, the council said.

Financial assistance will also be given to relatives for travel costs as well as those staff who choose to transfer employment to continue to support residents (up to 18 months).

Fosters has 35 beds and provides 24-hour accommodation and care for people who fall into the registration categories of frail, elderly and those with a diagnosis of dementia.

The council said refurbishment would cost £400,000 over two years while closure would save the council £1.3m a year.

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