CAMPAIGNERS trying to save threatened services at a Westhoughton care home have reacted furiously to a councillor’s claims their petition was “misleading”.
The petition — which attracted more than 1,000 signatures before being submitted to Bolton Council last Wednesday — urged the local authority to scrap plans to end intermediate and respite care at Winifred Kettle Community Care Centre.
The move is part of a major shake-up of health provision in Bolton, which will also see Firwood House in Crompton Way close, with the overall aim being to see more people cared for in their own homes.
Cllr Christopher Peacock, for Westhoughton North and Chew Moor, and cabinet member for adults and social care, welcomed the petition but criticised it for failing to “fully explain the situation”.
The Labour Party in Westhoughton has since produced a leaflet, distributed to all homes in the town, stressing that Winifred Kettle will not be closing.
Campaigner Gwendoline Parr said she felt insulted by Cllr Peacock’s comments, as she and Cllr Lynda Winrow-Baker had spent hours in the cold and rain speaking to people.
An online petition, which has attracted 1,350 signatures, titled “Help Save Winifred Kettle Care Home in Westhoughton”, makes clear the changes only affect intermediate and respite care.
Cllr Lynda Winrow-Baker, for Daisy Hill, said: “I can assure you I did not mislead people in any way.”
The Westhoughton Labour leaflet also makes reference to people who would otherwise have applied for a respite bed at Winifred Kettle.
Mrs Parr said: “The petition did not suggest that the home would be closing.
“We are also not campaigning so Westhoughton people can benefit, but so anyone can benefit, as I know people in Deane, for instance, who have benefited from being there.
“Where is the evidence that people want to be treated at home rather than Winny Kettle?”
Cllr Peacock added: “This has been framed as services leaving the town, when only 10 per cent of the people in Winifred Kettle’s beds last year were from Westhoughton.
“Each patient wanting a bed in respite care will be consulted and offered a suitable alternative locally.
“In and around Westhoughton means exactly that, we have one care home currently offering that care with another set to open at the old Red Lion soon.”