Care home to be shut down to save cash

A Wallsend care home is to be shut down as part of a bid to cut costs.

North Tyneside Council hopes to save £500,000 by closing Dorset House, just off Station Road.

The home, pictured, a dementia and respite care centre opened in 1978, will stop taking admissions over the next few weeks.

Its closure follows a review of short-term residential care services provided by the council to ensure it is making the most of its £53m investment in adult social care.

Those services are currently offered by Dorset House and the Cedars in North Shields, leading to concerns that Wallsend will lose out following the closure.

A council spokesman denied that would be the case, saying: “We’re surprised that it’s being suggested there will no longer be respite care provision in Wallsend.

“In fact, there will be greater choice and quality of respite care services in the area but provided by the independent sector rather than the council.

“Traditionally, we have provided these services at two locations – the Cedars and Dorset House.

“The success of our re-ablement service, which provides intensive support in people’s own homes, has meant both facilities are under-occupied.

“Both premises also require significant investment since neither has en-suite facilities, plus all the bedrooms are in need of major refurbishment.

“In addition, the demand for respite services provided at Dorset House has fallen due to the increasing number of people choosing to access respite care in the independent sector using direct payments.

“For these reasons, we will be operating from one site in future – the Cedars.

“For those who access dementia care services at Dorset House, we have invested in the state-of-the-art Linskill Park extra care scheme.

“We’re working closely with everyone who uses Dorset House to ensure they understand the changes and continue to access services that meet their needs.”

Ten jobs are expected to be lost following the closure, but the council is hoping to offer alternative posts elsewhere to the staff affected.