Yesterday afternoon (19th March) Michael Fabricant accompanied Mrs
Elaine Kirkham (who had raised a petition against care home closures in
Staffordshire particularly Oakdene Day Centre in Chaseterrace and two
residential homes in Burntwood), wheelchair bound Kenneth Egerton aged
83 (a disabled user of Oakdene), and 15 year old Joe Bradbury-Kirkham
(representing the Young Carers’ Association of South Staffordshire) to
present the petition with around 2,000 names to Tony Blair at Number 10
Michael now says: "The announcement of the closures of residential care
homes and day centres by Staffordshire County Council has been handled
in a crass and cruel way. Residents of care homes, their relatives and
carers do not know what alternative arrangements are available for them.
No obvious alternative has been offered to many residents who still need
24 hour care.
"Imagine being a vulnerable 80 or 90 year old in a care home with no
relatives to look after you. Imagine how they must feel about the
upheaval and uncertainty facing their future. This should have been
handled so much more professionally. The County has much to answer.
"When other petitions are raised for care homes in my constituency, I
will submit them to the Secretary of State for Health, Patricia Hewitt,
and will ask her for a written response to this debacle."
Photographs show Mrs Elaine Kirkham, Kenneth Egerton in wheelchair
holding the petition with Joe Bradbury-Kirkham and Michael outside