Dismay as Bryneithin care home closes
11:40am Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
AFTER years of uncertainty over its future Bryneithin care home closed yesterday, angering campaigners and councillors.
The last remaining resident at the Dinas Powys facility has moved to another care home in Barry.
The Labour-led coalition administration on the Vale of Glamorgan council, which called for the site to be developed into an “older people’s village” while in opposition last year, declined to comment on the closure, as did staff at the home.
The specialist home for dementia sufferers was due to be closed nearly four years ago under plans by the Vale of Glamorgan council’s previous Conservative administration, who called it ‘unfit for purpose’.
But that plan was scrapped after residents’ relatives won a legal battle to keep it open for the remaining 12 residents until their deaths.
Ninety-one-year-old Corianne Morris has been cared for alone at Bryneithin by a team of 13 since June last year – at a staggering annual cost of around £450,000, a council meeting revealed.
Her relocation leaves the site free to close.
Last year current leader of the council – Cllr Neil Moore – is reported to have suggested that a hub could be created at Bryneithin, and used as a day centre, around which built homes could allow elderly people to live independently.
Long-time campaigner over the future of the home off St Andrew’s Road, Margo Farbrace, said she still believes Bryneithin should be developed as a centre of excellence for dementia care.
Ms Farbrace, the leader of the Friends of Bryneithin action group, said: “Closing Bryneithin and throwing away this valuable commodity is absolutely despicable.
“The Vale has the fastest growing older population, many of who will develop some form of dementia.
They will have no place to go.“ Their loved ones have no respite, despite the fact that they are saving the council millions.
“With the new mental health assessment unit in Llandough many more people will be diagnosed earlier, then what happens?”
Ms Farbrace, whose father was cared for at the home prior to his death, added: “Bryneithin could be developed under a joint venture with the health board or the mental health assessment unit.
“It could be put up for tender or run in a partnership, like Ty Dyfan.”
Dinas Powys Plaid Cymru Councillor Chris Franks said Plaid did not wish to see Bryneithin fall into rack and ruin.
“There is growing demand for decent facilities for our ageing population and Bryneithin could be an ideal location for such facilities,”
“There is a long history of care at Bryneithin and although the existing premises are in need of investment we cannot allow the council to simply abandon the building and grounds.
“We are calling on the new council leadership to fulfil their promises made when in opposition and to quickly and publicly explain what the strategy for the area is, who will manage the site, and what finances are available.
“The Vale has had a significant time to prepare plans for Bryneithin.”
Chairman of Vale social care scrutiny commitee, Cllr Richard Bertin, said: “Members of the committee are upset and angered that despite the promise of openness and transparency by the Labour-led coalition, we have yet to be officially told.”
A report about the future of Bryneithin will be discussed as an urgent item at the next social care scrutiny meeting, due to take place on April 15, at 6pm.