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Furlong Close fiasco: HfT blames the council and the council blames HfT

December 17, 2020 3:21 PM

WC and care provider HfT want to close the Rowde site. A press release put out by WC in early December stated that following pressure from residents, their families and the wider community, the closure would be delayed. However it will still go ahead.

There's a debate about the usefulness of 'campus style' sites like Furlong Close. They're out of fashion now, and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has said it's not a style to be used in future. However the CQC also accepts that existing sites should remain, because of the distressing impact of closure on existing residents.

The closure decision seems to have been made on behalf of the residents without their involvement, which is hardly a good way for a council or a care provider to behave.

Update 17/12/20.

Wiltshire Council has issued a briefing note which seeks to justify its role in the matter. It continues to claim that: "The Council agrees with HFT that the campus site does not provide the model of care it would want in the future and is concerned that the provider continues to be judged RI with RI outcomes increasing."

RI means 'requires improvement'. It seems that WC doesn't understand the meaning of 'requires improvement'. You don't improve a facility by closing it.

There's some impressive buck-shuttling going on between HfT and WC: "HFT has publicly stated that the original decision to close the site was a "joint decision" taken "in partnership with Wiltshire Council". It should be noted that Wiltshire Council cannot make a decision about what HFT, as an independent provider, does with this site that HFT owns and operates. The Council does not provide or block-purchase the service and, therefore, Wiltshire Council, as one of a number of commissioners, cannot decide whether the service stays open or closes."

HfT say they're not making enough money from Furlong Close. WC responds by saying they pay good rates. The two sides continue to ignore the wishes of residents. WC and HfT are due to meet on Monday, though there seems at this stage to be little likelihood of a satisfactory resolution.

The cabinet member responsible for the situation is Cllr Simon Jacobs.