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Statement on Furlong Close

At Full Council on 23 February, Wiltshire Council Leader Cllr Philip Whitehead said a rapid scrutiny review will go ahead around issues surrounding Furlong Close where Wiltshire Council has a number of residents.

Published 23 February 2021
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At Full Council today (23 February), Wiltshire Council Leader Cllr Philip Whitehead said a rapid scrutiny review will go ahead around issues surrounding Furlong Close where Wiltshire Council has a number of residents.

Furlong Close is described as a campus and has a residential care home, supported living bungalows and a day service for adults with people with neuro diverse needs which is owned by the charity Home Farm Trust (Hft). Hft also provides the care at Furlong Close.

Wiltshire Council has 25 residents living at Furlong Close whom are the responsibility of Wiltshire Council and they live alongside 14 residents from 13 other local authorities

As the owner, Hft has the responsibility to make decisions for the future of Furlong Close and in July 2020 they informed us they wished to close the site. The site is owned by Hft and as the landowner they would make a decision regarding its future use.

Since being made aware of the closure, we have attempted to work in partnership with Hft to try to find the best solution possible for residents living at Furlong Close. It has also been our aim to listen carefully to residents and their families' views on the potential closure.

In November 2020 Hft decided not to close Furlong Close in June 2021 as originally stated. As Hft has now given notice on the contract for Furlong Close we have requested further details from them. We will review the feasibility of any proposals as soon as the details are provided.

For Wiltshire Council this has always been about finding the best future options for our residents. In November 2019 we agreed a 35% increase in fees for Wiltshire Council residents at Furlong Close. Fees are now at the top end of what we would expect to pay for this type of care.

We will be sending a further invite to family members of residents supported by Wiltshire Council to a meeting on 3 March.

Our social care team has offered to listen, and support residents and families and we have reminded families of how they can contact the team directly. Meanwhile we want to continue an open conversation with everyone so we can be clear about future options and we want these to be the best future options for all our residents.

Lucy Townsend, Corporate Director People at Wiltshire Council said: We want to find a constructive way forward for the residents at Furlong Close for whom Wiltshire council is responsible. We prefer to avoid entering into a public dispute as this is in no-one's interests especially the residents who remain our number one priority. I hope Hft adopt a similar approach.  Today at Full Council it was announced there would be a rapid scrutiny exercise on the issues surrounding Furlong Close and we will provide an update on this in the future."

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Published 23 February 2021