A CHARITY could launch a legal challenge against plans to close five council-run care homes.
The homes affected – Maplehome in Birkenhead, Pensall House in Pensby, Poulton House in Wallasey, Meadowcroft in Bromborough and Fernleigh in Leasowe – all provide intermediate or respite care and will shut by March 31.
A four-bed residential home, Manor Road in Wallasey, is also closing. Seven people living permanently in the homes are being re-housed.
The closures will save Wirral Council £2.7m.
It says the decision was based on priorities set by the public following the council’s massive consultation exercise last year.
Families have been told “appropriate support” will continue to be provided by “appropriate voluntary or independent organisations”.
But the council is facing criticism from a leading charity for people with learning difficulties and carers, who said families were only told about the closures this month and should have been given more notice.
Gwen Seller, chair of Wirral Mencap, said it had joined forces with mental health organisation Family Tree, which supports families affected by severe mental health problems, to try to stop the closure of Maplehome and Fernleigh.
Maplehome, which is due to close on February 25, provides respite for adults with learning difficulties while Fernleigh is a respite service for adults with mental health problems.
She said: “We are writing to all elected members to ask them to delay closure of both respite services because we believe the policy decision taken in December was taken on the basis of a flawed process – the Wirral Your Future questionnaire.