Occombe families' praise for Torbay Mayor
FAMILIES are celebrating a breakthrough in a campaign to keep their disabled loved ones together at a closure-threatened care home.
They say that they can move forward 'without fear' after mayor Gordon Oliver allowed care to continue at Occombe House and Fairwinds Day Centre.
Sally Thomas, who has a sister Dawn Lang, 51, living at the home, and Mary Maclachlan whose daughter, Jane, is a resident, said: "The families have stood together in what has seemed like a long battle to ensure the seven residents are able to stay as the family they have been for the past 25 years and to retain the staff that understand and protect them.
"At last with continuing help from the mayor and many council members, it seems that we and the care trust are speaking the same language."
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The mayoral decision has been called-in by Torbay Cllrs Alan Faulkner, Bobbie Davies, Ian Doggett, Ruth Pentney and Steve Darling.
They say there is 'significant merit' in the proposal but have outstanding concerns that will be heard at the council's overview and scrutiny meeting on Tuesday October 30, 3.30pm.
The future for the residents has been in question for more than two years.
Tailor-made care packages by health bosses at Torbay Care Trust seemed like it would put an end to residential care at the home in Preston Down Road.
They argued the building was no longer fit for purpose and the residents could be better served elsewhere.
Now the trust, with input from the families, is planning to commission care services from a private provider who will operate on site. It means the residents can continue to live at Occombe House. Fairwinds Day Centre, which neighbours Occombe House, is currently closed. The latest agreement by mayor Oliver means the site can be leased to the new provider for at least 40 years at a peppercorn rent.
It is hoped an agreement can be reached before Christmas.
A Care Trust spokesman said they want a provider 'with the ability to turn Occombe into a modern site for independent supported living.'"