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Plans to close Sittingbourne's Doubleday Lodge old people's home

County Hall in Maidstone
County Hall in Maidstone

A consultation has begun on plans to close a town care home.

Doubleday Lodge, in Glebe Lane, has just three permanent residents, and is not considered to be fit for purpose in the long term.

Owner Kent County Council (KCC) estimates it would take significant investment to bring the 27-bed unit up to national industry standards – money it feels would be more effectively spent elsewhere.

The home, which was built in 1974 for older people with general frailty, costs between £600,000 and £700,000 per year in running costs, which would also be saved by its closure.

KCC is working with Swale council to develop alternative extra care housing, which it believes would offer flexible, quality care and independence for older people in the area.

It says it is confident there is good enough accommodation in Swale for the residents.

Within 10 miles of the home there are 15 care homes, with 629 beds, and 153 more care home beds are planned in the area.

Cllr Graham Gibbens, KCC cabinet member for adult social care
Cllr Graham Gibbens, KCC cabinet member for adult social care

Cllr Graham Gibbens, KCC cabinet member for adult social care and public health, said: “The future of adult social care in Kent is commissioning quality services which offer value for money.

“We propose to close Doubleday Lodge because it is under-used and cannot provide quality care into the future without significant investment.

“We are confident that there is adequate alternative provision in the area which can better meet the needs of older people.

“The well-being of the residents currently at the home is at the forefront of our consideration.

“They are being kept up to date with proposed changes, and we will be working with them and their families to continue to meet their needs.”

A total of 38 people work at the facility – three full-time and 35 part-time.

If the proposal goes ahead those staff members would be found alternative employment or offered redundancy packages.

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