Today’s Express and Star reports that residents of a Staffordshire residential home deemed ‘not fit for purpose’ have been moved out to a luxury care home at a cost of £1,000-per-person-per-week.
Staffordshire County Council shied away from revealing just how many former residents of Billbrook House are now living in the £21million Sunrise Residential Village in Tettenhall, which can charge residents up to £50,000 per year, and their reluctance to release the numbers really just says it all.
Billbrook House was closed despite campaigners’ pleas, as the council insisted that they could not afford to keep it open, and yet so many private residential care homes potter along perfectly efficiently for years and years. We are left to wonder how Billbrook House got into such an unsalvageable state in the first place and why taxayers’ are having to shoulder these huge costs.
One thing is for sure, failing to maintain this residential home has certainly cost them dear, as the paper also reports that twenty residents have chosen to move to the 5* Wergs Road complex, with plasma TVs and silver service.
No-one resents these elderly people decent accommodation, let’s just make that clear, but this situation should have been foreseen by the council and more suitable provision should have been arranged. Must these people be moved again once a more inexpensive solution is found? Or will the council continue to pay these extortionate fees for as long as they have to?
This is just another costly muddle that could have been avoided by proper planning, but when planning isn’t paramount because costly mistakes have few consequences and the coffers can be boosted quite easily by the public purse, situations like this will arise time and time again.