Anger as firm plans to close two care homes in St Leonards

Two care homes are to close in March, forcing more than 50 vulnerable people to find alternative placements.

Wednesday, 18th January 2017, 5:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th January 2017, 11:12 am
Leolyn Care Home, St Leonards. SUS-170117-152621001

New Century Care, which owns Clyde House in Sedlescombe Road North and Leolyn in Pevensey Road, broke the news to relatives and staff on Tuesday (January 17) that the homes are to shut at the end of March.

Karen Bailey’s 75-year-old mother has been a resident at Clyde House for more than three years and is local authority funded.

She said: “There are vulnerable adults there with dementia and other illnesses, lack of mobility etcetera.

Clyde House Care Home, St Leonards. SUS-170117-152607001

“Where are these people going to go? It’s a countywide issue at the moment that there are no local authority funded beds available.

“There’s 52 people between the two homes who are going to want beds and that will stop people from the hospital being placed in nursing homes and that’s going to block beds.”

Karen said she feared some residents may not survive the stress of moving.

She said: “I’m hoping mum’s strong enough.

Clyde House Care Home, St Leonards. SUS-170117-152607001

“But there’s others who are vulnerable who may not be able to put up with the move.”

Karen said the staff were ‘distraught’ by the news of the closures, with many reduced to tears.

The firm closed another care home, St Paul’s, last year, with many residents transferring to Clyde House.

A spokesperson for New Century Care said: “I can confirm that, after very careful consideration, we have taken the difficult decision to close Clyde House and Leolyn care homes. As a responsible care provider, we have a moral and regulatory duty to make sure our homes are financially sustainable. Despite our best efforts to resolve the situation, given the current national funding climate both homes have been operating below a sustainable financial level with no likelihood that this will improve in the future.

“Our absolute priority is the health, wellbeing and safety of our residents and that we continue providing high-standards of care at both homes. Over the coming weeks, we will be working very closely with residents, families and the appropriate authorities to find the right new home to meet each individual’s needs. We are also consulting with our staff team and will ensure they are fully supported during this time.”

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “We were very disappointed and surprised to hear from New Century Care on Tuesday that they had decided to close the two remaining homes they operate within the county at the end of March.

“Following their decision in 2015 to close their other home in East Sussex, Tredegar, we provided a significant amount of support to the two homes that they have now also decided to close – Clyde House and Leolyn – and received assurances the company was committed to investing in the long term future of both homes.

“We are attempting to make urgent contact with New Century Care to understand this apparent reversal of their previous commitment and explore any and all potential alternatives to their proposed closure in 10 weeks’ time.

“Clearly our priorities are for the welfare of the residents, peace of mind of their relatives and clarity for the staff that work there and we will be making individual contact with the people affected as soon as we are clear on the situation facing them and the options and solutions that may be available.”

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