Page last updated at 14:34 GMT, Thursday, 5 November 2009

Care homes to close in shake-up

Lincolnshire's eight council care homes are facing closure - but with replacements built by private firms.

The county council said new "extra care housing schemes" and "specialised dementia care centres" would mean better care for the elderly.

Plans include accommodation with en-suite apartments to give residents greater independence, officials said.

But Unison has urged the council not to walk away from its responsibilities to vulnerable people.

Employee fears

Councillor Graham Marsh, the executive councillor for adult social care, explained why they were making the changes.

"These are only proposals and people still have the opportunity to feed into these and give us their opinions," he said.

"But my view is that, as they stand now, [they] are an exciting new development which will offer a range and choice of quality care for people in Lincolnshire when they get old and frail."

The council admitted there would be uncertainty for the 300 authority employees in this area, but said they hoped a combination of natural wastage, retirement and opportunities in the private sector would mean no-one was left out of a job.

It also said no current units would be closed until new facilities were available.

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