In 2014, after a consultation period widely regarded as a sham, Devon County Council closed 20 of their residential care homes.
As a result 260 elderly, vulnerable people were forcibly removed from their homes. Many of these people no longer live in the towns they’ve lived all their lives, separated from friends and family. Many are frail and confused. There are war veterans, centenarians, Parkinson’s and dementia sufferers. Some have relatives that supported them during this time, many do not. They are all simply collateral damage in a cynical ideological campaign by Conservative councillors to remove direct care provision.
Since the process was completed many of the predicted consequences have come to pass:
The NHS is desperately struggling with the problem of moving elderly people out of hospital beds and into social care places.
The enormous savings invented by Cllr Stuart Barker to justify the closures have proved to be the fantasy that critics always said they were. Devon County Council budgets for social care are being blown apart in the face of rising demand and increasing costs.
The government, and their willing foot-soldiers in local government, have:
“…failed to protect adult social care from unprecedented cuts in spending, and the number of people getting publicly funded social care has fallen by a quarter despite growing demographic need. If reductions on this scale continue, it is difficult to see how the social care system or the NHS will be sustainable in their current form.” The Kings Fund, March 2015 (link)
The Devon care home closure debacle shone a spotlight on the incompetent, disreputable and anti‐democratic antics of our county councillors.
We believe that the process illustrated:
- A pre‐determined decision
- Attempts to avoid accountability
- A sham consultation
- Half‐truths, distortions and outright lies
- Contempt for process and electorate
- Contempt for the people in their care
The loss of 20 valuable, well-run care homes was a decision taken by Cllr John Hart and Cllr Stuart Barker, aided and abetted by Cllr Polly Colthorpe, Cllr Philip Sanders and Cllr Sara Randall Johnson. Meanwhile pointless chair-warmers Cllr John Berry, Cllr Margaret Squires and Cllr Gaston Dezart looked on and did nothing.
On this site you’ll find information relating to the process, councillors involved and the people affected. The information and stories here will stand as testament to the spineless, selfish and inhuman actions of the people we elected to run our county. Shame isn’t a word in these people’s vocabulary, but we should be ashamed that they do this in our name.
Please also take a look at the Save Devon Care Homes Facebook page.