Fears over change to care services

Bob Elliott House at Wright Street, Blyth.'REF 0902152635
Bob Elliott House at Wright Street, Blyth.'REF 0902152635

Concerns have been raised over potential cuts to a sheltered housing provider as council bosses look to save money.

As part of making £44m in savings, Northumberland County Council is looking at options around care packages for the elderly.

But residents at Bob Elliott House in Blyth are concerned that some care packages could be withdrawn as part of the cuts.

The county council is currently reviewing the services provided at Bob Elliott House and consulting residents about proposed changes.

A county council spokesman said: “Whatever decisions the council makes, care services will continue to meet the assessed individual needs of residents in this scheme.

“The council’s proposal is to withdraw the funding for this 24-hour staffing, and instead provide on-call support to residents through the use of ‘telecare’ alarm systems, which will notify the call centre if a resident needs urgent support.

“The 24-hour staffing was formerly funded through a government grant scheme, and when this came to an end a few years ago, the council agreed to continue funding the service.

“However, Northumberland County Council has to make £44m savings over the coming two years, and we have identified 24-hour staffing at Bob Elliott House as a service which it thinks could safely be provided in another way at lower cost.”

The council will consult with residents before making a final decision.