Care Home Closure – Wayne Fitzgerald

Audio Part One
Audio Part Two

08:12 Wednesday 11th July 2012
Peterborough Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: When you went round and had a look at these rooms, what did you find?
WAYNE FITZGERALD: Well you know very well that I haven’t visited either home as yet. It’s planned that we will visit, both the Director and I, before any decision is made.
PAUL STAINTON: So you’ve not been round the homes, yet you’re making these massive decisions that affect the most vulnerable in society.
WAYNE FITZGERALD: Paul, there’s been a detailed report prepared about every .. both of the homes. The Cabinet and the report base that decision on the information in front of them. I personally, as I said to you last time I was on, am happy to talk to anybody. We will be visiting those homes in the next couple of weeks, well in advance of any decision being made. So, you know, the report is in front of the Cabinet yesterday to consult, not to close.
PAUL STAINTON: How can you even think about it though? How can you put these things on the table? If you’ve not been round, how can you form an opinion, a decision making process, if you’ve not actually looked at the homes? You came on here before and said, the rooms are too small. We’ve heard from people saying no they’re not. They’re perfectly fine. They need en-suites. No they don’t. They can’t use them. You’d know that if you’d been round.
WAYNE FITZGERALD: Paul. It’s been widely acknowledged, even in yesterday’s Council meeting by the union representative and a member of the staff that put a paper to Cabinet, that it was recognised that the .. and you used the word, not fit for the purpose. I don’t think I’ve used that expression .. are not adequae in today’s modern standards. They’re perfectly able ..
PAUL STAINTON: That’s semantics.
WAYNE FITZGERALD: Well no it’s not Paul. “Fit for purpose” and “being adequate” are too different things.
PAUL STAINTON: But your proposal, your consultation even, is upsetting and frightening. You heard from Clara Woods. The most vulnerable people in society.
WAYNE FITZGERALD: Well I do sympathise, you know. It is very distressing to me. Can I just ask you a question? Why do you think the Council would be doing this? We’re trying to act in the best interests of all the people that we are charged to look after. We’re not out to harm anybody. I don’t understand why you persist in this tack of thinking the Council ..
PAUL STAINTON: Not me.
WAYNE FITZGERALD: Yes it is you.
PAUL STAINTON: No. Absolutely not me. We’ve been through this care home. We’ve taken the trouble to go.
WAYNE FITZGERALD: The question you just asked me was a question from you. So I’m just ..
PAUL STAINTON: On behalf of the people we’ve spoken to.
WAYNE FITZGERALD: Ok. Look Paul, the Peterborough Breakfast Show with all due respect is not representative of the whole of the population of Peterborough.
PAUL STAINTON: No. We’re representing the people we’ve actually bothered to speak to within the care homes.
WAYNE FITZGERALD: People who you have spoken to who have genuine concerns. Which is why there is a consultation, and which is why that all those people will be listened to. I personally will be visiting the homes with my Director to talk to the staff and the residents. That’s an assurance I gave. And that’s an assurance I’m sticking by.
PAUL STAINTON: When?
WAYNE FITZGERALD: I believe it’s in the next two weeks. I’m just waiting for a date to be confirmed.
PAUL STAINTON: Can we come with you?
PAUL STAINTON: I don’t think so. It’s a private matter. I wouldn’t want the press, you know, or anybody, interfering with what people genuinely or truly feel. They will talk to us individually, or you know, my Director and I will listen to anybody, whether they want to talk to us as a group, or individually. It’s a private matter Paul. It’s not a matter for the media.
PAUL STAINTON: Well it is, because they brought it to our attention. The whole thing is a matter for the media, because many people are saying that a large percentage of these people, if you go ahead with these plans and move them, will die.
WAYNE FITZGERALD: I’m talking about the discussions we might have with residents and with staff. They’re not to share with you, unless people want to share them with you afterwards. It’s entirely up to them.
PAUL STAINTON: Why do you persist in these things though, in going ahead with these plans, when people say the places are fine. They may not be twelve by twelve these rooms, but they’re fine. It’s not a law that says it has to be twelve by twelve.
WAYNE FITZGERALD: Politicians do not … I’ve not compiled this report. Councillors do not come up with these things. They’re put together by professional social workers, people who are experts in their field.
PAUL STAINTON: Are these the same sort of social workers that were advising on children’s social services?
WAYNE FITZGERALD: The councillors are acting on advice. Ok? We have to look at what advice is given to us, and do the very best. You’ve got to remember what we’re trying to do, is do our very best for the people of the city.
PAUL STAINTON: We’ve been here before though, haven’t we? We’ve had advice on lollipop ladies. We’ve had advise on children in danger in this city. That advice was flawed.
WAYNE FITZGERALD: Paul, you can pull up as many situations as you like. I’m not going to get into a debate about it.
PAUL STAINTON: That’s thew problem, isn’t it?
WAYNE FITZGERALD: No no. It’s not the problem.
PAUL STAINTON: There are many situations that I can pull up.
WAYNE FITZGERALD: There are. But there are many equally justifiable reasons, and I’m not going to debate them with you, in the two minutes that we have now. If you want to come and debate things, then come to the Council, Mr Stainton.
PAUL STAINTON: I’m sorry? Can you say that again?
WAYNE FITZGERALD: Come to the Council, and make your points in the Council chamber.
PAUL STAINTON: It’s not my point. You’re completely wrong here. Speak to the people of Peterborough who’ve been on. Speak to Clara Woods. Speak to the people who are worried about their mums, their dads, their grandmas, are worried about them dying because of plans you might be putting through. It’s nothing to do with me. I’m a conduit for what people are saying here.
WAYNE FITZGERALD: Well Paul, with all due respect, sometimes your conduit is somewhat ..
PAUL STAINTON: Why do you persist in attacking me? Speak to the people of Peterborough. They’re the people that matter here.
WAYNE FITZGERALD: We are speaking to the people of Peterborough. I’ve already told you that. We¬†started a consultation exercise in which we’re listening. So the point is, anybody that wants to talk to me or the Council or anybody else about their concerns about what is being proposed, that is the whole point of consultation. And that’s what was agreed yesterday. What I’m saying to you is, instead of attacking the Council all the time, and please don’t insult me by saying you don’t please come to ..
PAUL STAINTON: Outrageous. I won’t stand for it. I’m not attacking anybody. We have been to the care homes. We have bothered to go. Alright? We’ve spoken to the people that matter, the people like Clara, who was so angry, so upset, so scared. In her nineties. We’ve spoken to those people, and we’re relaying what they have said to you. Do not make this a personal. matter. It certainly is not. What do you hope to achieve by carrying through these proposals? That’s what we’re trying to get to.
WAYNE FITZGERALD: I’ve already told you that we are trying to do our very best for the people that we represent. There is no motive here other than that, and I don’t understand, you know, why (LAUGHS) .. what your stance is. I understand, and I recognise, and entirely empathise with everybody that’s been on the programme, whether they’re relatives or staff. Those are the people that are important to me. Not this Breakfast Show, in terms of ..
PAUL STAINTON: What are you on about? I don’t know what you’re on about. I want you to address the people of Peterborough, not me.
WAYNE FITZGERALD: I’ve just told you.
PAUL STAINTON: What are you hoping to achieve by these changes?
WAYNE FITZGERALD: I’ve just told you succinctly Paul. The only people I’m interested in is the people that are affected by this proposal. And I can’t be any clearer than that.
PAUL STAINTON: The people of Peterborough have already spoken though. Why carry on with the consultation?
WAYNE FITZGERALD: The people of Peterborough haven’t already spoken Paul. You’ve spoken to a small number of people.
PAUL STAINTON: The people that matter. That’s more than you’ve done.
WAYNE FITZGERALD: Everybody matters Paul. It’s not the people that matter, just the people that you’ve spoken to, and not everybody. Let’s be clear. The people that listen to your show, in proportion, is miniscule to the people ..
PAUL STAINTON: But they’re the same people that you’ll be talking to, when you go to these places.
WAYNE FITZGERALD: No they’re not. We will speak to far more people than you’ll ever hope to reach.
PAUL STAINTON: I just don’t understand what .. can you just clarify again what you’re hoping to achieve. Because I don’t think we got an answer.
WAYNE FITZGERALD: We are wishing to consult with the residents, the staff, and everybody else that might have a stake or a say in the future of care in the city, about how we handle and provide care in the future, as well as today. And those people we will be talking to over the next few months, which is why we’re consulting on the process.

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Leader of Peterborough City Council Marco Cereste has added the Chairmanship of Larkpoint, specialists in healthcare and retirement living development, and who are engaged in land development in Peterborough, to his long list of outside interests.

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