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Furlong Close update

Wiltshire Council has written to families of residents living at Furlong Close to provide an update on the latest developments and to set out potential options for the future.

Published 22 March 2021
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Wiltshire Council has written to families of residents living at Furlong Close to provide an update on the latest developments and to set out potential options for the future.

Furlong Close in Rowde is owned by Hft and is home to 25 Wiltshire Council-funded residents and 14 residents from 13 other local authorities.  

In October, Hft sent a letter to residents announcing its plan to close the site in June 2021. On 15 February, Hft sent a letter to Wiltshire Council and the other local authorities and served 90 days' notice of termination of services at Furlong Close. The decision was shared with residents, families and carers.

Since the February letter, Wiltshire Council has been speaking to Hft to gain further details. To date, Hft has said Furlong Close will not be available to service users on anything other than a transitional basis for up to two years to allow residents to be moved to other placements. Wiltshire Council has also asked Hft how it proposes to contract with the other local authorities that have residents at Furlong Close.

Wiltshire Council has been exploring future options, including whether another care provider would be able to provide care and support to residents there. In a letter to residents Wiltshire Council has said the options are:

  • exploring with Hft whether Furlong Close could be made available to residents in the future - if so identifying an alternative care provider and terms of occupation including timescales and cost of provision
  • identifying alternative appropriate residence and care provision in Wiltshire - preferably close to the existing location and supporting existing friendship groups
  • supporting adults, families and carers in identifying other alternative residence and care options

Lucy Townsend, Corporate Director for People at Wiltshire Council said: "This is a difficult time for residents and it is important we continue an open and ongoing conversation with everyone so we can be clear about future options.

"We know there are many people anxious for a decision to be made regarding Furlong Close. We are meeting with Hft to do what we can to move this forward while taking into account how we can best support residents for the future. We have been meeting with the residents, carers and families and we will continue to do this, for as long as they wish to engage with us, as it is important to ensure that, wherever possible, we can provide them with latest information when we receive it and listen to their views and try to answer any queries they may have."

Following a request from the Leader of the Council on 2 March 2021, Wiltshire Council's Health Select Committee has established a rapid scrutiny exercise to review the actions taken by the council in regards to Furlong Close. However this has had to be paused due to a separate legal process, as one of the Wiltshire residents challenged Hft's decision in the administrative court. These legal proceedings are currently live and the council is an interested party so the scrutiny exercise has been paused while this is ongoing.

The council has also written to local councillors with an update on Furlong Close and you can see a copy of this at (opens new window).

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