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  • "All strength to this Gran Gwen Parr’s elbow, she is undoubtedly right, it is a disgrace that a so called socialist council should even consider closing any of their intermediate care and short-term respite beds any of their establishments.

    In fact the care of the elderly in Council run Care homes should be expanded, to provide full time care for the elderly. It is a sad indictment that Socialistic political parties cannot provide full time care for the elderly, on a not for profit basis, when private care homes are run for a profit.

    These closures are being considered because people have stated that “If given the option, many who fall ill would prefer to stay at home first before having to leave their familiar surroundings or giving people more opportunity to stay in their homes after they have been discharged from hospital.” Which of course is natural, but in lots of cases not practical, either because of physical or mental capabilities, especially for people living on their own.
    Indeed I have a friend who is in a private care home, suffering from Parkinson’s, Dementia / Alzheimer’s, who in what seems to be his lucid moments, says all of the above, but it is totally impractical, as he needs constant care 24/7."
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Gran's campaign to save beds at Winifred Kettle care home in Westhoughton

The Bolton News: Gwen Parr collects signatures in Market Street Westhoughton Gwen Parr collects signatures in Market Street Westhoughton

CAMPAIGNING gran Gwen Parr has launched a petition to keep respite services at a “flagship” Westhoughton care centre.

She has collected dozens of signatures in a bid to force Bolton Council to change its plan to close intermediate care and short-term respite beds at Winifred Kettle care home, in Leigh Road.

It is part of a scheme which will see also Firwood House in Crompton Way close, as the council reorganises the way people are cared for after they are discharged from hospital.

Health bosses say the changes will mean residents will be cared for in their own homes, if possible.

Under the plans, Winifred Kettle will still run its day care services as an older people’s wellbeing centre — but retired business analyst Mrs Parr said the support it currently provides for elderly Westhoughton residents is vital.

The 73-year-old says she is concerned that should anything happen to her in the future, her husband James, who has Parkinsons disease, would have to travel to Breightmet to see her.

Mrs Parr, of Daisy Hill, said: “I’ve written to all the local councillors, Bolton Council’s adult services department, the MP Julie Hilling and MEP Robert Atkins about this issue.

“Winifred Kettle gives such a wonderful service, 24 hours a day. It’s a flagship. It’s our security and it is desperately needed by the community. We have now to go to the other side of Bolton to Laburnum Lodge — it’s awful.

“We are going to fight it as hard as we can.”

A spokesman for Bolton Council said the plans, developed in partnership with NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, were aimed at giving people more opportunity to stay in their homes after they have been discharged from hospital.

He said: “If given the option, many people who fall ill would prefer to stay at home first before having to leave their familiar surroundings, and nationally this is the proven route to recovery.

“We are proposing a simpler way of providing intermediate care services, which will see the number of intermediate care beds reduced from 80 to 62 and concentrated on two sites.

“This will still leave us with more intermediate care beds than are available on average throughout England.

“However, recognising that most older people would prefer to remain at home, the care provided in people’s own homes will be improved and increased to more than a third of what is currently available and will be provided 365 days a year.”

Residents are invited to email their comments to before the end of January.

A further report finalising the proposals will be produced in February, with the plans due to be implemented from April 2014.

Copies of the petition are available to sign in shops in Westhoughton, including The Salon in Marsden Street, and the newsagents and pottery studio in Market Street.

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