More than 700 people sign petition against proposals to close care home

A petition has been launched to save a care home from potential closure.

Walker Grange
Walker Grange

Sandwell Council is considering shutting Walker Grange Care Home, in Tipton, due to it being under-occupied, the Express & Star understands.

More than 700 people have signed the petition, with claims staff feel "insulted" by the plans.

West Bromwich West MP Shaun Bailey has also written to Sandwell Council, urging the local authority to have a rethink.

Sandwell's cabinet is due to approve the start of a consultation next month over the Central Avenue-based site's future.

The petition's author, Ian Woodall, said: "We, the undersigned, strongly oppose Sandwell MBC's decision to begin the consultation process that will lead to the closure of Walker Grange Care Home in Tipton.

"We believe that, not only is this an insult to the staff, who have worked tirelessly during the Covid-19 pandemic to keep residents safe, it will also cause unnecessary stress to many residents - many of whom are frail and have underlying health conditions.

"Instead, we propose exploring a local solution which preserves the service in Tipton, on site at Central Avenue, and keep residents in their homes.

"We further propose that such a solution keeps the excellent council care team in place to run the facility going forward."

Walker Grange is an extra care housing provider, with 39 one-bedroom flats.

It was rated as "good" by the health watchdog, during its most recent inspection on January 8, 2020.

At the time, there were 22 residents living there.

In an official letter addressed to Sandwell Council leader Rajbir Singh, Mr Bailey said he was "dismayed" by the "threat" to the care home.

He said: "Walker Grange is valued by its residents and their families and has a reputation for providing good quality care.

"We can surely both agree that protecting the most vulnerable in our communities and ensuring that they have somewhere to live safely is incumbent on all of us as elected representatives."

Sandwell Council confirmed no decision has yet been made on the site.

The consultation which it is planning to launch will involve tenants, families and staff.

A council spokesman said: "The care and support of the tenants at Walker Grange remains our top priority which is why we are seeking authorisation to consult with them closely to listen to their views, as well as the views of their families and professional staff.

"By talking and listening to our tenants we hope to ensure we can continue to provide the best and most appropriate care possible now and in future years."

To sign the petition, visit change.org

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