Work has started for the rehoming of the final seven residents at a South Tyneside care home which is to be axed.
Discussions have started with the last residents in Connolly House residential care home and their families to transfer them to new accommodation.
The 36-bedroomed home in Reynolds Avenue, Whiteleas, South Shields, is being closed to make way for the creation of a specialist dementia hub based at South Tyneside District Hospital.
In early 2011, more than 1,300 petitioners backed a campaign to save the home. Council bosses then gave the home a six-month ‘stay of execution,’ after agreeing to extend a period of consultation until August 2011.
Lead member for adult social care and support services, Coun Mary Butler, said: “Change can be unsettling, but I would like to reassure everybody that we will manage this difficult situation with dignity and respect to the individuals involved.
“However, it is simply not possible to continue to provide the services that our residents need at Connolly House.
“We now need to begin the process of planning the closure in a carefully managed way that takes full account of the needs of residents, their families and carers.
“Residents have been allocated a designated social worker to make sure their views and wishes are noted and acted upon.”
In October 2010, following a consultation, South Tyneside Council’s Cabinet agreed that Connolly House would close in the future.
It was acknowledged that, while the quality of care was excellent, the building does not meet the same standards.
Coun Butler added: “Five years ago we promised to be honest and open with residents and their families.
“We have maintained dialogue throughout this time and we remain committed to that approach.”