PRESSURE is mounting on the county council to find suitable homes for disabled residents at Rose Orchard care home in Kidderminster before it closes down next month.

Social workers are still trying to find alternative care facilities for the five adults, who all suffer from severe or life-limiting disabilities, but relatives fear their care will be downgraded to save money.

Operators Praxis Care said that, without additional funding from commissioners like Worcestershire County Council, the service in Baxter Avenue is too expensive to run.

Deborah Wood, whose 34-year-old daughter Elizabeth Hubbard has lived at the home for three years, fears the closure will have a detrimental effect on her wellbeing.

"Elizabeth needs around the clock care," said Deborah. "She has epilepsy, scoliosis, cerebral palsy and is registered blind. She needs changing and moving in the night and most of her seizures happen in the early hours.

"I have little doubt that if Elizabeth were to be placed in supported living or residential care without waking night staff, her wellbeing would be at risk."

She said Rose Orchard is one of only two care homes in Worcestershire that provides specialist 24-hour nursing care to severely disabled adults.

Local councillors are now calling for an extension on the May 27 closure until permanent homes can be found, and a Facebook page, Friends of Rose Orchard, has been set up to fight the decision.

Kidderminster Town councillor Sarah Rook said: "We want to at least get an extension until the people who live at Rose orchard have somewhere equally as suitable to go to. Ideally we'll try to stop the home from closing altogether.

“It is clear from visiting Rose Orchard that the people here have very complex needs that need to be met. The county council has a duty to meet these needs.”

MP Mark Garnier added: "What my priority is here is to ensure these service users get proper care. I’m not an expert but it seems clear that these residents are not suited to supported living facilities.

"We’ve got to make sure that nobody tries to play the system to downgrade their care in order to save money rather than placing these people in the best places for them."

Elaine Carolan, assistant director for strategic commissioning at Worcestershire County Council, said: “We’re continuing to support all five individuals who currently live at Rose Orchard.

"We are exploring the suitability of available alternative options for each individual. Following the decision by Praxis Care to serve three months' notice of the home closure, we have worked alongside staff at the home, the individuals concerned, their families and health professionals to ensure we secure services that reflect the complex needs of individuals.

"It is our aim to work constructively with families to ensure we can achieve safe, high quality services through the range of options being explored.

"I appreciate that this a very unsettling time for all involved and we will continue to dedicate expert staff to this situation until the best possible outcomes are achieved.”

Richard Broughton, director at Praxis Care, said: "We are fully supportive of the process to secure the right and appropriate level of nursing care and support for each of the residents currently at Rose and that each package of nursing and care is funded to ensure it continues to meet each persons need and that it is at a level which is sustainable and viable for the provider."