Wednesday, 10.15pm: Campaigners opposing the closure of two Peterborough City Council-run care homes have had their first meeting since the publication of a report recommending the buildings be shut.
Members of the Welland House and Greenwood House Relatives and Users Supporters Group met this evening at the Salvation Army Peterborough Citadel, in Bourges Boulevard.
It came as a report for the authority’s scrutiny commission for health and its cabinet, written following a 90-day public consultation, is published recommending closing Greenwood House, in South Parade, Netherton, and Welland House, in Poplar Avenue, Dogsthorpe.
Campaigners have vowed to fight on with their protest and this evening heard from Yvonne Hossack, founder of Elderly People in Crisis, a charity set up to raise awareness of the effect forced movement from residential homes has on those in their old age.
She explained such movements puts stress on the body, which increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke in the elderly and also suppresses the immune system.
She said this made it more likely that people undergoing such transitions would die sooner, particularly in winter when viruses were most active - giving the proportion of affected people to experience an earlier death as high as 50 per cent.
She advised members against campaigning on an argument that the public sector provides a higher standard of care to the private sector, instead saying it should be about protecting their loved one’s lives.
She said: “They will always try and tell you they are a responsible to a wider group of people who are equally important and there isn’t enough money to go around. That’s why your strategy is to explain to them they are personally responsible in this decision to what happens to the person who you love and cared for you all their life.” Mrs Hossack advised campaigners to contact Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald, cabinet member for adult social care, to urge him to get clinical advice on the likely effect on the residents of the proposals, rather than accepting the officer’s reassurances, while also suggesting an alternative which would create less disruption for clients.
She added: “It’s never right to make a decision that will hurt or kill another human being for the benefit of others.”
A demonstration is to be held outside Town Hall, in Bridge Street, from 10am, ahead of the meeting of the scrutiny commission for health at 7pm on Thursday, November 1.
All those who support the campaign are invited to attend.