Care home is saved after thousands backed vibrant campaign

SAVED -- the Bishop's Court residential care home at Ollerton.
SAVED -- the Bishop's Court residential care home at Ollerton.

A vibrant public campaign has helped to save from closure a care home in Ollerton.

Bishop’s Court, on Tuxford Road, Boughton, was one of six Nottinghamshire County Council-run centres earmarked for the axe as part of multi-million pound savings.

But the 45-bed home has now won a three-year reprieve after a campaign that gained the backing of more than 7,000 people who signed a petition.

“It has been a great success,” said David Crofts, organiser of the Bishops Court Action Group. “The council has obviously listened to us all, and many jobs are now going to be saved.

“Three years gives us a great foundation to re-evaluate and move forward. It gives us time to plan with the council the future development of Bishop’s Court. With an increasingly elderly population, it is still a necessity to monitor facilities in Ollerton.”

Mr Crofts’ own elderly mother, Doris, lives at the home, which provides round-the-clock care and boasts a four-star rating from care inspectors. Many patients have dementia or other mental-health issues.

The council felt that closure would be more cost-effective than modernisation and proposed a new scheme, known as extra care, whereby patients would be moved to their own homes in Newark with access to on-site personal support.

“However, we have listened to the concerns raised by residents and have amended our plans to give us more time,” said Coun Muriel Weisz, chairman of the council’s adult social care and health committee.

“Extra care is a real alternative to residential care, but Newark would be too far, so we are now planning to create a scheme in Ollerton in response to local demand.”

NEWS of the three-year reprieve for Bishop’s Court residential care home was given “a cautious welcome” by Mark Spencer, Conservative MP for Sherwood.

“The devil can be in the detail of these things,” said Mr Spencer, who has supported the campaign to save the home.

“We feel that Bishop’s Court operates particularly well and meets the needs of its residents, who are particularly happy there. If all the council is going to do is give them a three-year stay of execution, then that is not what we were seeking.

“However, at least it gives us three years to campaign like mad to get the council to change its mind completely.

“Big congratulations must go to the pro-active team who lobbied so strongly against this proposal. Their actions have achieved this backdown.”