Councillors concerned about decision to remove night care staff at flats

Burgess Hill councillors with upset residents at Marten House. Picture: Steve Robards
Burgess Hill councillors with upset residents at Marten House. Picture: Steve Robards

Burgess Hill ward councillors are concerned about the decision to remove night care staff from Marten House.

The ‘assisted living’ flats are home to around 28 elderly residents and has carers available over a 24-hour period.

But relatives were told at a meeting with West Sussex County Council last week that night care would no longer be available for residents from September.

Councillor Anne Jones told the Middy she and her fellow ward councillors were ‘concerned’.

She said: “I had the greatest pleasure when we built Marten House as a home for residents who were unable to care for themselves at home, but would not need to move into more costly residential care homes.

“We designed the building with the residents’ needs as a priority. It is the most ideal place.

“I have very fearful residents who can no longer live at home and don’t have family and support. All of our support services are being removed.

“We are the largest town in Mid Sussex and we are going to be even bigger over the next few years, plus our population is getting older.

“I am concerned at the increasing demand that will fall on WSCC and our ambulance and hospital services, which are likely to have increasing demands on its funding for services for older people.

“We found the cost of providing night care in our care homes was the best way of allowing greater security and independence for our residents.

“You can’t just build houses without the infrastructure. I think enough is enough.

“Burgess Hill will have an ageing population and over the next 30 years we are going to have more elderly people.

“We are not looking like a caring town like we ought to be in the 21st century.”

A spokesman for the county council said the decision to remove night time care ‘had been taken following an overall assessment of the needs of residents at Marten House’.

“Planned care calls to residents will not be affected by this change and residents will continue to have access to a 24/7 monitoring service via Lifeline,” they said.

“Marten House will continue to have a dedicated scheme manager who will be based on site during office hours, and there will be no change to the midday meal service at the scheme.”

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