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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Care home campaigns made the difference

A campaign of opposition clearly prompted yesterday’s stunning decision by Cumbria County Council not to go ahead with the closure of two West Cumbrian care homes.

The bids to save Workington’s Richmond Park and Aspatria’s Park Lodge homes were well orchestrated and thoroughly researched.

These homes may not have seemed “fit for purpose” in the council’s eyes, but were entirely suitable for elderly residents who may otherwise have faced dreadful upheaval.

The council stuck to its pledge to listen to local communities on this emotive issue.

However, it wasn’t just a knee-jerk response, because the council acknowledged that new ideas had emerged from the consultation that made a difference.

The decision to go ahead with closure of Distington’s Woodlands home is unfortunate, however, but none of the outcomes can be viewed in isolation.

Changes were required in response to a growth in our area’s elderly population, and a laudable desire for people to be supported to live independently as long as possible.

There will therefore be welcome investment in home care services and upgrades to homes in Maryport and Wigton.

Support for people to remain at home will be expanded to provide 24 hour, seven days a week cover.

This seems like a sensible package of measures, and this time consultation has certainly proved its worth.

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