Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Meadow Court Nursing Home to Close
– Housing to follow?

After last week’s spat on Twitter between elected Redbridge councillors regarding the impending closure of Meadow Court Nursing Home, (situated on the grounds of King George Hospital), we now have a report from an independent body, Healthwatch Redbridge, telling us what is really going on. The decision to close was made last Thursday, 30 November, by the Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group (RCCG). Not that the decision, in itself, is without controversy.

Meadow Court is operated by Care UK, a private contactor, and Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) commissions 48 beds under a block contract arrangement, the current contract value being £2,993,192 per annum. The beds have historically been used for NHS continuing healthcare (CHC) patients with dementia and those with physical disabilities.

However, at the time the consultation launched, only 14 of the 48 beds commissioned by the CCG were occupied, meaning the CCG has been paying for 34 empty beds under the block contract.

It would appear that the reason for this is that the Nursing Home was not on the approved provider list within the borough and therefore would not have been an option for families seeking places for their loved ones. Why not? And who didn’t include it?

A cynic might conclude that the facility has been deliberately run down in order to release the site for a very profitable transaction (kerching!) to a housing developer and that Redbridge Council may well have been complicit in this given their lust for new housing. If there is tangible evidence of this it should be made available for public scrutiny to back up claims made on Twitter.

Inevitably this closure will put more pressure on other such facilities - and do bear in mind that Galleon and Heronwood wards in Wanstead were closed in 2015.

Cathy Turland of Healthwatch Redbridge said:

‘Whilst we understand the need to ensure public money is spent wisely, we consider that this is a financial decision and are concerned for the wellbeing of patients. We urge the CCG to ensure appropriate support systems are in place and are effective’.

Here's the report in the Ilford Recorder.

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