Elderly care home in Northamptonshire likely to close in 2017 under county council budget proposals

Ecton Brook House has been earmarked for closure as part of  county council plans.
Ecton Brook House has been earmarked for closure as part of county council plans.

A care home for the elderly in Northamptonshire has been earmarked for closure as part of county council plans to cut £82.9 million from next year’s budget.

A consultation is likely to be launched in the next few weeks over plans to shut the 1970s built Ecton Brook House care home in Northampton, which currently has 34 residents.

The move is part of Northamptonshire County Council’s wider elderly “accommodation strategy,” which will be reviewing how it provides elderly care over the next five years.

The council says it will attempt to re-home residents in private facilities nearby, though some families of elderly people living in Olympus care homes have expressed their fears that they may have to travel long distances to see loved ones.

Initially the authority proposed to shut two of the six Olympus Care Services care homes being run in the county to save £300,000 in 2016/17, but it is understood that a decision to close only one home was taken yesterday.

County council cabinet member for adult social care Councillor Suresh Patel, said: “This review looks at whether our existing provision meets the changing needs and expectations of our growing population.

“It has been a very tough process to identify which home we will put forward for closure and this decision is not made lightly.

“We will now consult with the families, residents and indeed the wider community about the potential closure.

“If the decision is then made to close this home, we will have dedicated staff working with families affected to find the best possible alternative accommodation.”

The council says staff, residents and their families of Ecton Brook would be “fully involved” in the consultation, before a final decision is made about the accommodation review in the summer.

If the closure plans go ahead, the site on Ecton Brook Road would become fully vacant by early 2017.

The council said it will make up the difference in cost if the re-housed residents of Ecton Brook find their new placement is more expensive than the authority’s standard pay rate.

A county council spokeswoman said the homes run by Olympus Care Services on behalf of the county council were built in the 1970s and 1980s and “lack many essential facilities such as private bathrooms for residents.”

The overall accommodation review will “look at how these homes might be used in the future to meet the needs of the county’s elderly population and whether the sites they are on could be better used to provide more choice, more capacity and more fit-for-purpose accommodation,” the council spokeswoman adds.

Cabinet will discuss the accommodation review at a meeting next Tuesday on February 9 at 2pm, followed by the special budget cabinet meeting on February 18.