The Coach House residential care home is tucked away on Woodward Heights, Grays. The dedicated and professional staff tend to thirteen residents with long term care needs including some in a persistent vegetative state.
But now the home is under threat of closure after the NHS have detailed plans to pull £750,000 worth of funding.
The financial blow leaves Thurrock Councils adult social care department to pick up the bill. The council have their own fiscal headaches, having just launched a consultation to save £25 million over two years.
The plans were tucked away in the NHS’s “Turnaround Plan” which details how they will make £53 million worth of savings. Whilst most of the plan refers to savings with general services, the Coach House is one of very few places named.
The document states somewhat glibly: “Assumes adult social care can provide adequate provision.”
The council have reacted with fury at the decision.
A spokesperson said: “Thurrock Council is concerned by this proposal, which is due to take effect on 1 April 2011, and it has communicated this to the PCT, however, its full implications have not yet been fully worked through.
“All service users at the Coach House will need to be re-assessed to see if they meet either health or adult social care eligibility criteria.
“We will be working with the PCT over the next few months to complete these re-assessments”.
The proposal has come as something of a shock to the staff at the Coach House. YourThurrock spoke to a member of staff who did not wish to be named, who had no knowledge of any cuts, proposed or otherwise.
Neither the owners Family Mosaic or the South West Essex PCT have made themselves available for comment.
Its disgraceful where has all the money gone? What happened to the money Thurrock PCT saved from its growth allocations for the future? Why have the Non Executive Directors been silent on the matter?
Thurrock Council Members and the public should push for an Overview and Scrutiny review of health budgets. How can a locality that had a good fiscal approach and plan move from a £12m surplus, that it lent to a troubled East of England,to such a massive deficit with local staff losing jobs? People need to be held to account for this mismanagement of funds – I am completely saddened and disappointed. I bet money has shifted from Thurrock to Brentwood to prop up the PFI hospital – we will probably now never see our much needed primary care hospital in Grays.