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Doncaster Care Home Campaigners Taking Legal Action Against Council

Lawyers Specialising In Helping Vulnerable People Write To Local Authority To Warn Of Potential Judicial Review


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

Campaigners fighting to save a series of Doncaster care homes and day services from closure have called in specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to take legal action against the local council, claiming the decision to close seven care centres is unlawful.

Expert lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, who have been challenging council cuts for years and most recently saved 15 adult day care centres in Shropshire from closure in a Court of Appeal case, have sent a letter to Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council challenging the closure of its residential care homes.

In the letter, lawyers say that unless the council agrees to quash its decision to close all seven council-run care homes and four out of the eight adult education centres, they may have no choice but to apply for a Judicial Review to take the case to the High Court. The council have responded to confirm that they have not made a final decision and that it is possible for the Mayor and Cabinet at the council to make a decision in June 2014 continue to keep the care homes and day centres open.

The authority needs to make savings of around £109m over the next three years but as well as taking legal advice, local residents have handed a petition of more than 10,000 signatures to the council. The Council says that a final decision is due to be made in June at a full cabinet meeting, but campaigners were concerned that as early as 20 February the proposed Council budget was accounting for the closures – leaving councillors with little choice.

Yogi Amin, a specialist public lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the care home residents, said:

Expert Opinion
All across the country vulnerable people such as the elderly and disabled are facing severe cuts to their services which are having a massive impact on their lives.

“The cuts to residential care in Doncaster are the latest to come under scrutiny and we have heard from many people about the negative affect that the Council’s decision will have. There are real questions about how the decision was made and what consultation had taken place beforehand.

“The council appears to have just put a blanket closure notice on all the centres instead of assessing the impact that each individual decision would have on the residents and their families.”
Yogi Amin, Partner

Edith Lemasurier is an 84-year-old resident at Gattison House residential care home in Rossington and has lived there since August 2013.

Her son George says that as well as being happy there and not wishing to move, she is also very vulnerable.

He said: “My mother is clearly old and vulnerable and it would be very distressing for her to have to move to a different home away from her close friends and with potentially different staff. She has dementia among other medical conditions and I would be extremely concerned about how a move would impact on her health.

“We’ve been looking for private sector care homes that operate to the same standard that my mother receives but we are struggling to find anything. We have had no choice but to take legal action as we and many other families are worried about what might happen in future. I just hope the Council will see sense and re-think their decision.

The council talk about the costs of care in the private sector being much less that at the council run care homes. I am concerned that the council paid accountants are painting a false picture of what the costs actually are for delivering a quality service for vulnerable elderly and vulnerable disabled people.”

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