Keep proper journalism alive. It's time to Back the Cable
The Bristol Cable

Bristol’s final council-run rehab centre set to close as part of adult social care cuts

A cabinet decision to close East Bristol Intermediate Care Centre will put more than 25 jobs at risk, but the council argues that sufficient alternative services are available in the city.

Image of East Bristol Intermediate Care Centre (credit: Google)
Reports

Bristol City Council is set to shut the last remaining rehab centre it runs for older patients who need care after leaving hospital before going home, as it shrinks adult social care budgets.

Cabinet members are today (May 2) expected to approve the closure of East Bristol Intermediate Care Centre to save money, with more than 25 of its all-female staff being made redundant or redeployed.

The service offered by the rehab centre, in Summerhill Terrace, St George, will be taken up by community healthcare provider Sirona at other sites.

The decision comes less than a year after council leaders controversially shut South Bristol Rehab Centre.

Despite initial promises that employees could transfer to Sirona, which runs a similar service at South Bristol Community Hospital, that proposal fell through and the carers were left in limbo for months before having to take either voluntary severance, redundancy or other jobs.

The East Bristol centre’s fate will be sealed by mayor Marvin Rees’s cabinet today. It follows a decision at the budget-setting full council meeting on 21 February to cut the cost of running it altogether as part of savings within adult social care.

A cabinet report said: “Rehabilitation services are not usually provided by local authorities and are a discretionary service for the council, and there is agreement across the health and social care system that the community health provider [Sirona] has the skills and facilities to deliver this service in line with standard practice nationwide.”

Warning staff could find getting new jobs hard

It said affected staff would be consulted on their options and that the council would “comply with the obligation to seek suitable alternative employment for all employees at risk of redundancy to mitigate against any compulsory redundancies”.

But the report added that changing to a new team or role could be difficult. That’s because 58% of the 25.5 full-time equivalent employees are over 50 and have worked at the council for a long time.

The report said that an alternative option for the rehab centre, which could have seen the NHS taking it over, had been discussed but that health partners “are not in a position” to do so.

“They already provide rehabilitation services at other sites across the city, which will ensure that a continued high-quality provision is available for citizens,” the report said. “The [health] system priority is to increase the number of people returning home with care and support in place of offering additional community intermediate care beds.”

It said this meant that “the only viable option for the council to progress is the proposal to stop service delivery at East Bristol Intermediate Care Centre”.

The report said the centre closure would not immediately affect office staff based on the site, but that future use of the accommodation would need further consideration.

“If the proposal to end the rehabilitation service is approved, then part of the site will become vacant,” the report said.

“There will still be office-based staff from the council’s reablement service and Sirona Care & Health in part of the building, however the reduced capacity will mean that the site will need review and full options appraisal with the council’s property service about the preferred future use.”

Join 2,500 Cable members redefining local media

Your support will help the Cable grow, deepening our connections in the city and investigating the issues that matter most in our communities.

Join now

What makes us different?

Comments

Report a comment. Comments are moderated according to our Comment Policy.

  • Hospital beds are blocked by patients waiting to go into a care facility before they will be allowed home, so why are these facilities being closed?

    Reply

Post a comment

Mark if this comment is from the author of the article

By posting a comment you agree to our Comment Policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related content

Social care crisis leaves healthy patients stuck in Bristol’s hospitals

The lack of carers in the city is down to poor pay, Brexit, competition from the likes of Amazon and increasingly unaffordable housing.

Bristol’s social care staff shortages ‘worst they have ever been’

Poor pay, Brexit, competition from the likes of Amazon and increasingly unaffordable housing mean some care providers are struggling to provide care.

The corporate giants dominating our care system

The scandal of coronavirus deaths in care homes shone renewed light on a crumbling sector, distorted by big-money interests. The Cable asks, how did we get here and what can be done?

Services at tipping point: adult social care cuts in Bristol

Further cuts and restructures to adult social care in Bristol are on the table. Here's what's happened so far, what changes are afoot and what impact people are seeing.

Join our newsletter

Get the essential stories you won’t find anywhere else

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter to get our weekly round-up direct to your inbox every Saturday

Join our newsletter

Subscribe to the Cable newsletter

Get our latest stories & essential Bristol news
sent to your inbox every Saturday morning