A nursing home that has provided “excellent care” for 25 years is to close in three weeks’ time - leaving 40 staff without jobs and 23 residents needing to find new homes.
Staff at the Red House home in Emlyns Street, Stamford. as well as families of residents say they are devastated because it was a happy place where residents were very well looked after.
Home owner Dinesh Patel who met residents’ relatives on Tuesday, with officers from Lincolnshire County Council present, said it was “absolutely devastating” to see families in tears but he had no choice but to close Red House because it was no longer viable or sustainable as costs did not match income.
Mr Patel said: “There’s a shortage of registered nurses.
“It means we have to use agency staff which costs twice, sometime three times, as much. The county council pays us very little per resident (£436, plus £109 if needing nursing care) so the scale of economies is not there. I cannot run the home with borrowed money.
“More and more regulations keep coming in which has made it increasingly difficult.”
Mr Patel said that when he opened the home 25 years ago the staff focused on making sure the residents were warm, tidy, fed and had someone to talk to.
“Now we are spending more time writing notes and ticking boxes. We may satisfy the regulators but the residents are not benefiting from it,” he said.
Lorraine Gray’s 86-year-old father Kevin Flynn has lived at the home for seven years and her grandmother-in-law Phyllis Munton, aged 100 years, has been resident for four years.
Mrs Gray, from Ketton, said: “Both of them have been looked after beautifully.
“My dad probably will not understand what is happening as he suffers from Alzheimer’s. But he recognises voices and now he’s suddenly going to be with people whom he doesn’t know.
“My grandmother-in-law is very upset. The older people had expected it would be their home until the end of their days.
“It is such a bolt from the blue.”
Brian Christie, whose mum is a resident, said: “It’s just the upheaval for the residents some of whom will cope some won’t with the moving. And of course where will they all go?
“Then there are the friends and relatives who visit on a daily basis, some of whom are pensioners like myself.”
Nurse in charge Heather Vaughn, from Stamford, said: “All the staff are devastated as are the visitors and relatives because the Red House has always provided excellent care.”
Claire Wood, also from Stamford, and senior care assistant at the home for 24 years said: “Everyone is very upset.
“We are like a big family. We want to try to keep it going because it will be devastating for the residents.”
A tearful Lynne Porter, one of the cooks, who has worked at the home for almost four years said: “It’s a lovely, well run, family establishment with a nice environment. It is such a shame. I love working here.”
Glen Garrod, the county council’s director of adult social services said the authority was saddened to hear of the closure.
“Our role as a priority now is to support the six residents funded by the county council and to assist the other residents as well,” he said.
“This will include a detailed assessment of their individual needs and to work closely with their families, ensuring a smooth transition and that their future care options fully meet their needs.”
“We understand the decision made by the home’s owner was a business decision based on the economic viability of the service.
“It is unfortunate to see a service close, but all organisations – including charities – need to make very tough decisions in order to be sustainable.
“Within adult care we monitor the usage and capacity of residential homes on a weekly basis and are assured that there’s sufficient capacity within the district to support this closure, and to maintain quality and choice now and in the future.”
Mr Patel who lives in Surrey where he has a residential care home, added: “Being of Indian origin I was brought up to respect the elderly and look after the frail. That’s our culture and I feel in some ways I’ve let people down.
“Making staff redundant is not something I would do lightly. It’s been a very difficult decision to make.”