Users of a valuable resource have hit out at plans to close it down.
The Cedars, in North Shields, is an intermediate care facility providing rehabilitation care for people who no longer need to be in hospital but are not ready to go home, supported on average for six to 12 weeks.
But users have been left shocked after North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) announced it would close at the end of the year as the building is not suitable for future needs.
One upset user said: “This has been an extremely valuable service for many years, and has proven to be a very popular beneficial service to our elderly.
“Everyone who has benefited from using this valuable service has had the utmost respect and nothing but high praise for all the staff who work there in helping them back into their home environment.
“Soon all residents will have no choice but to either go private for aftercare or take up a hospital bed.
“Can another suitable building not be allocated for this service?”
A spokesperson for NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “NHS North Tyneside CCG, North Tyneside Council and our partners have been working together for some time to improve services for older people.
“An important part of this is to improve rehabilitation services, with care provided both in community-based beds and people’s own homes.
“We understand that changes to services can cause concern, but it is important for us both to maintain the highest quality of care and to secure the best possible value for money.
“We have had to recognise that the Cedars building is not suitable for future needs and would be costly to renovate.
“With other intermediate beds already available locally, we can provide a better service to patients by closing the Cedars and investing in a community-based team to strengthen more home-based services in the area.
“This will improve the care that patients receive and ensure that people are supported to go home as soon as possible.
“The Cedars will close around the end of the year, after all current patients have completed their rehabilitation in the usual way. There are no plans to move existing patients elsewhere.”