Disabled residents hold protest against planned closure of care home in Northampton

A group of residents of Hampton House in Northampton held a protest outside the Houses of Parliament NNL-140624-141045001
A group of residents of Hampton House in Northampton held a protest outside the Houses of Parliament NNL-140624-141045001

Residents of a care home for the disabled in Northampton have protested against its potential closure outside the Houses of Parliament.

Hampton House, a care home with 21 residents in Lumbertubs, has been earmarked for closure by Scope as the charity believes it is “old-fashioned”.

If the care home closed the residents would have to find new accommodation, whether that be by themselves and financed by a personal budget or living as a group while supported by Scope.

Today (Tuesday) a group of residents and their families travelled with Sally Keeble, Labour parliamentary candidate for Northampton North, to the Houses of Parliament to take part in a ‘national lobby’

Mrs Keeble said: “The issue is choice - whether people with the most profound disabilities will still have the choice of living in what is basically a sheltered community, or whether they have to live on their own - or with just one or two other people.

“The families of people at Hampton House want to make sure that one of the choices on offer is for people to remain in what has been their home and community for decades.

“There’s also the issue of the role of the families who care passionately about their relatives with disabilities. Some of the family members are themselves now ageing parents, others are brothers and sisters who have taken on the caring responsibilities and remained an active part of their lives.

“I’ve seen the distress people feel about the closures. One couple living at Hampton House are facing their second move in just a few years after their former care home also closed, and fear for their future.”

Richard Hawkes, chief executive of the disability charity Scope said: “Scope runs many services for disabled people throughout England and Wales – including almost 40 care homes.

“We are proposing to close or change eleven of our residential care homes, over the next three years.

“Many of our care homes were opened in the 1960s or 1970s. We have made these proposals because we don’t believe we should be running old fashioned care homes, which were set up fifty years ago.

“We know many of the people that live there are very happy. However, more and more disabled people, especially younger disabled people, are opting to live in the community, supported by staff they choose and paying for care themselves. As a result there is there is less and less demand for large, outdated residential care homes.

“We are making these proposals now so that we can close the homes in the best possible way – before vacancies make them unviable. We want to give residents and their families enough time to understand our proposals and ask us questions.

“We do understand that the proposal has caused a lot of anxiety for those affected.

“We are committed to talking to residents and families, and have been doing so since October last year, so that they have the opportunity to share their views.

“This includes investing in independent advocacy for every resident, to make sure each individual understands what these proposals mean for them and can have a say about what they want for the future.

“We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all care. Every individual in our care homes is different. We can’t predict where and with whom they will want to live if the homes do close. But we guarantee we will support people to work with the councils who fund their care and support to move on to their new homes.”