Hereford & Worcester

Care home closure puts disabled adults 'at risk'

Beth Hubbard, Rose Orchard resident
Image caption Beth Hubbard has lived at Rose Orchard for three years

The health of disabled adults could be put at risk by the closure of a Worcestershire care home, say relatives.

Rose Orchard, in Kidderminster, is to close at the end of May due to high running costs.

Families are concerned that residents' needs will not be met by alternative options.

The council says the home costs more to run than similar provision elsewhere.

Image caption Rose Orchard is due to close next month

Beth Hubbard, 34, who has severe epilepsy, cerebral palsy and is registered blind, has lived at Rose Orchard for three years.

Last month her family was told the home would close after the charity that runs it, Praxis Care, was unable to secure additional funding from Worcestershire County Council.

Ms Hubbard is one of five residents who need 24-hour care and her mother Deborah Wood fears the closure will have a detrimental effect on her well-being.

Image caption Deborah Wood fears for her daughter's well-being

"I think if she were to go somewhere else, where there isn't nursing care... I think that she will become ill, I think it puts her health at risk," said Mrs Wood.

Rose Orchard is one of only two care homes in Worcestershire that provides specialist 24-hour nursing care to severely disabled adults, she added.

Image caption Elaine Carolan, from Worcestershire County Council, says funding is the issue

Worcestershire County Council had discussions with Praxis Care to explore options to maintain the service, a council spokesperson said.

Elaine Carolan, assistant director of strategic commissioning, said the income needed to run the home "far outstrips the cost of that type of care elsewhere in Worcestershire".

The council said it was working to find suitable alternative specialist accommodation in the county for Ms Hubbard and other Rose Orchard residents.

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