Why we are proposing to close or change 11 of our care homes

Post from Alice Maynard, Chair of Scope

Scope is coming under criticism for its proposals to close or change 11 care homes over the next few years.

As Chair, I’d like to try to explain why we’ve put these plans forward.

Scope runs many services for disabled people and their families – including almost 40 care homes.

Most of our care homes were opened in the 1960s or 70s.

At that time it was standard practice to bring lots of disabled people together, usually with only their impairments in common, to live in large institutions, out of the community, where organisations provided them with the support to do basic things.

Times have changed.

And many disabled people’s aspirations have changed. But they’re having to drag society along with them.

More and more disabled people, particularly younger disabled people, are opting to live in the community, with support from staff they choose, using their own personal budgets.

Councils are responding by opening different kinds of services.

As a result we’re finding there’s less and less demand for places at large residential care homes.

Care homes like this are therefore very likely to close in the long term.

And that leaves organisations like Scope with a tough choice.

Do we sit and watch while these homes gather more and more vacancies until they become unviable and we’re left with no choice but to close them in a hurry?

Or do we make the decision now, so that we can close these homes in the best possible way?

We’re proposing to make the changes in a number of slow phases, which include formal consultations, over the next few years.

We know many residents have lived in the homes a long time, and we understand that the proposals have caused a lot of anxiety. We’re proposing to do this in a number of slow phases, which include formal consultations, over the next few years.

We want to give residents and families time to ask questions and for them to understand the proposals.

We have been talking to residents and families since October last year – and we will continue to do so.

This includes investing in independent advocacy for every resident, to make sure each individual understands what these proposals mean for them and can have a say about what they want for the future.

People ask me if we’re pushing independent living for all the residents.

But I don’t believe in one-size-fits all support.

Every individual in our care homes has different needs and different wishes.

It’s really early days. We can’t predict where and with whom they will want to live if the homes do close.

But we guarantee we will support people to work with the councils who fund their care and support to move on to their new homes.

If you have any questions about these proposals, please contact feedback@scope.org.uk.