A CARE centre where older people recover after they have been discharged from hospital is being closed down.

The move is to allow people to be looked after in their own homes instead.

Bolton Council bosses will shut Firwood House in Crompton Way and transform another centre into a day care-only facility under proposals to re-organise the way intermediate care is delivered across Bolton’s four care facilities.

Town hall chiefs insist it is not a cost-cutting measure and will improve the way older people are cared for.

Leader of the council, Cllr Cliff Morris, 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.

“Overall, there will be an improvement in the quality and quantity of intermediate care services and local residents will receive the right care, at the right time and in the right place.”

Currently, the council provides 80 intermediate care beds across four sites — Darley Court, Alderbank, Winifred Kettle and Firwood.

Intermediate care aims to help people recover from illness as quickly as possible. This can be at hospital, at home, or in an intermediate care home.

New proposals will see the number of beds reduced to 62 across two sites next summer at Laburnum Lodge in Harwood and Darley Court in Halliwell.

Intermediate care and short-term respite beds at Winifred Kettle will shut, but the building will still run its day centre services as an older people’s wellbeing centre.

Firwood’s intermediate care beds would be incorporated into Laburnum Lodge and its day services transferred to nearby Thicketford Day Centre.

Intermediate care beds at Alderbank would also transfer to Laburnum Lodge and the day centre would transfer to Great Lever Park Lodge, which is undergoing refurbishment.

The council insists intermediate care staff will not lose their jobs but say there is a risk of redundancy for catering and cleaning staff.

Laburnum Lodge is an existing care home, which currently provides longer-term care but will incorporate those needing intermediate care.


Cllr Andy Morgan said: “Intermediate care is a brilliant system and I agree that we need to try to deliver more care in people’s homes.

“My only concern is that reducing the number of intermediate beds could prevent patients from making that step from hospital care to their own homes. I just hope it does not result in bed blocking.”

The council intends to implement the plans by April.