Lancashire care homes dispute is resolved

A row over plans by Lancashire council to close more than 30
care homes as part of a major shake-up of care for older people was
resolved at the eleventh hour at the high court, writes
Sally Gillen.

The home closures were intended to ensure that all residents
would be moved to a new or refurbished home which met the new
national care standards within the next five years.

But lawyers representing 30 of a thousand care home residents
who would be affected by the closures over the next five years,
argued that the council’s plans violated their fundamental
human rights.

However, the expected five-day hearing at the high court was
avoided after last-minute negotiations led to an agreement,
sanctioned by high court judge Mr Justice Sullivan.

Judicial review challenges brought by private care home owners
and Chorley council were also withdrawn, following a statement by
Lancashire council that it would carry out “systematic individual
assessments” before moving residents.

It also pledged that “wherever practicable” residents would
remain in homes in the same areas where they currently lived, and
“will not be moved more than twice”.

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