NHS bosses have admitted they do not yet have a list of nursing homes where Favell House patients will have to go for respite.
The centre for people with conditions such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis, will close after NHS Nene decided the money would be better spent on providing respite at different places across Northamptonshire.
Favell House users and staff have been told a closure date of October 1.
But bosses have confirmed to the Chron that, although the date may alter if the changeover does not progress as planned, suitable nursing homes for respite have still not been identified.
Dr Darin Sieger, a GP and chairman of NHS Nene, said: “It was a Catch 22 situation where we cannot prejudge the outcome of the consultation. We definitely need to start working with providers in order for them to innovate and be able to accommodate this level of users. But if we had done that before the end of the consultation then you would have accused us of prejudging the outcome.
“You’re right, though, that may be a learning point for the organisation in that we do those background checks.
“We are a new organisation, we are very open and transparent and that was the advice given to us.”
NHS Nene is now putting together a specification for nursing homes that want to provide respite for people with neuro-degenerative illnesses, but critics are still unhappy that the search had not been started sooner.
Mick Sharman, of Friends of Favell House, said: “They’ve got it completely back to front, How can you present an option in the consultation if you haven’t even looked into whether it can work?”
Michael Ellis MP for Northampton North said: “I’ve said from the start that they were asking leading questions in the consultation.
“Now they have confirmed they did not know if they could deliver what they were offering. The process has been a sham and I urge NHS Nene in the spirit of public service to reconsider their decision.”
NHS Nene has insisted it took views of the public into account when it decided to close Favell House and cut back podiatry services. Consultations on both issues saw almost nine out of ten vote for the status quo, but NHS Nene’s board voted unanimously for changes Dr Seiger said: “Lots of people expressed their views but we made it clear it is not a referendum. Public feedback is an important part of the consultation and we took those views into account.” Nick Willmore, programme director, said: ”There were actually quite a range of questions asked at the board. “There was quite a debate. All of the non-executive directors in particular took their scrutiny rather seriously. “And there were one or two monments when we had to think hard what we were going to answer,” he added.