Council seeks public views on plans to close The Willows Care Home in Whitley

Posted 29/09/2018

Local people are being asked to have their say on proposals to temporarily close down The Willows Residential Care Home run by Reading Borough Council (RBC).

The care home looks after a mix of residents, including:

  • older people, some with dementia, who have been living there permanently
  • people leaving hospital under a ‘discharge to assess’ reablement scheme, while they recover and make long-term decisions about where they will need to live in the future
  • short-stay clients, using a respite service which allows carers to get a break.

Launching its public consultation on 25 September 2018, RBC said: ‘At present there are 27 empty rooms, with just three people with care needs who live at the home on a permanent basis, which will shortly be reducing to two people. The respite service is also infrequently used. For the reablement part of the service over a third of the allocated beds are often unused.’

If the closure goes ahead, the two remaining long-term residents will be found alternative care, and discharge to assess beds will move to Charles Clore Court Extra Care Housing in Tilehurst. The council will then decide what to do with The Willows site.

RBC’s lead member for adult social care, Tony Jones, said: “We believe that the bed-based reablement service would be more likely to deliver better outcomes for clients if it was based within a more accessible location that resembles an independent living environment – as opposed to a residential service with its philosophy of long-term care.”

The consultation ends on 24th October 2018.  To request a paper copy, a large print version of this consultation or for help with completing it call the council on 0118 9374277 or email  

Residents and family carers who need extra help to give feedback about the plans can also get this from Healthwatch Reading by phoning 0118 9372295 or Residents’ social workers will also ask Healthwatch Reading to provide an independent advocate for affected people who qualify for help to have their say about their future care plans and needs.


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