No service crisis, death inquiry told

A public inquiry into the case of an 88-year-old woman who died
when she was moved from her nursing home was told there was no
crisis in residential care for older people in

Margaret Sheather, Gloucestershire Council’s director of social
services, said much had been done to avoid a crisis in the sector,
despite an estimated national shortfall of £1bn in government

Sheather said that, although there was a policy of enabling older
people to live and receive services in their own homes, the council
was committed to keeping the same number of care home beds for the
next three years.

The inquiry was called for after the death of Violet Townsend in
February, five days after she transferred against her doctor’s and
family’s wishes from Magdalen House care home in Gloucester because
of a wrangle over funding.

It is hoped the inquiry’s findings will lead to a national review
of elderly residential care.

Meanwhile, a High Court case against Pembrokeshire Council over an
alleged abuse of power brought by the former owners of an older
person’s care home has been dismissed. Christopher and Jennifer
Farr claimed the council’s policies were unlawful and accused it of
deliberately preventing older people from moving to the home they
ran to ensure its own homes stayed full.

The judge ordered the couple to pay the council’s legal costs.

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