Carers shake-up at extra care home in Hebburn leads to residents fears

Campbell Court Care Home
Campbell Court Care Home

A shake-up of carer services at an extra care complex in South Tneside has led to fears by some residents there won’t be enough people to meet individual needs.

Jane Gilchrist has lived in Campbell Court in Hebburn for six years and the 71-year-old, who has lost the use of both her legs, says there has always been two carers on the premise overnight.

These teams will ensure those people living in Extra Care accommodation receive the level of support they need but will also be able to serve many more people who may be living at home but need support through the night.

Council spokesman

From July 1, that is set to change when there will be one carer on site throughout the night - supported by a night visiting team.

The council say this model has already been adopted in Hagan Hall and Clasper Court and is working “effectively.”

However, Mrs Gilchrist says she has genuine fears over the level of care residents will receive, if they need support during the night.

She said: “We have 42 residents living in Campbell Court and the majority of them have got problems with their mobility and are really frail. “If we only have one person on site overnight, what happens if they are dealing with someone and something happens in another part of the building?

“It’s a terrible situation for those working.

“A lot of us rely on the carers, I have carers in to help with my personal care first thing on a morning and on a night time I call them when I need them.

“The carers are lovely people and it is a lovely place to live, but this is going to make things worse.”

The council say the move is not about saving money and there will be no job losses. It is aimed at helping more people, with support needs who are living in the community, and helping them to maintain their independence.

“This can include those needing short-term care following a fall or end-of-life support.

A spokesman for the council said: “The council recently introduced two night visiting teams who will work across the orough as part of our Help to Live at Home strategy.

“These teams will ensure those people living in Extra Care accommodation receive the level of support they need but will also be able to serve many more people who may be living at home but need support through the night.

“The vast majority of people we have spoken to about the new arrangements are comfortable with the new approach. However, we will review the new service once it is implemented to ensure it is meeting the needs of all those affected.”