Older people lose battle to prevent home closure

Eight older people who claim the closure of a retirement home
where they live may `hasten their deaths` prematurely failed in a
high court bid to keep it open, writes Clare

Judge Mr Justice Scott Baker said Plymouth Council had acted
neither unfairly nor unlawfully, despite some of the 11 residents
claiming the only way they would leave Granby Way home would be “in
a box”.

There was insufficient evidence to support claims by at least
three residents that they had been offered “homes for life” at
Granby Way, according to the judge.

He also rejected claims that the closure decision amounted to a
breach of the pensioner’s right to respect for their home and
family life under the Human Rights Act.

The residents have been waiting for the outcome of the judicial
review hearing for several months.

Lawyers for the five men and three women aged between 77 and 92
told the court that 10 residents had died at another Plymouth home
Tory Brook, which closed as part of the same cost cutting exercise
in reducing the social services budget by almost £1

But Scott Baker said local authorities often had to make
agonising decisions to balance books. The closure decision could
not be “stigmatised as irrational”, and the council had been
entitled to make it.

The residents were refused leave to appeal, but are now planning
to seek permission for an appeal hearing directly from the court of

Mr Roger McCarthy QC for the council said there were no
immediate plans to move any of the Granby Way residents, and
nothing would be done until individual assessments of their care
needs had been carried out.





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