Care home announces end of support for 22 council-funded residents, including 103-year-old
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One of the residents affected by the decision is aged 103.
The decision has raised concerns over provision for vulnerable residents following the closure of another home in the district.
Residents at West Ridings residential and nursing home, in Outwood, last week announced it is unable to continue to support residents funded by the local authority.
Advinia Health Care blamed the decision on ‘staffing pressures’, financial challenges and a lack of government funding.
A letter to residents and family members states: “Advinia has tried very hard over the last two years to attract care staff and retain current colleagues and recruitment has been very challenging.
“Sadly we are no longer in a position where we are able to consistently provide the amount of care which is needed across the site.
“Despite our best efforts we have also been unable to consistently secure the correct standard of agency staff to work at the home.
The letter adds: “The financial sustainability of the home has been challenged by the significantly increased energy costs due to the war in Ukraine and the low funding which local authorities receive from central government.”
Since the announcement, arrangements have been made for eight of the ‘most vulnerable’ residents to remain at the home.
Nichola Esmond, Wakefield Council’s service director for older people and physical disabilities, said enough residential places are available across the district to provide alternative accommodation.
She said: “Advinia recently let us know of a national change in their approach, which includes merging some of their nursing and residential units.
“Unfortunately, 22 residents funded by the council have been affected.
“We understand this is a very stressful time for residents and families but please be assured we are and will be working very hard alongside residents, families, providers and partners to make sure all the people living in the home currently have a safe and comfortable transition to their new home.”
Last month, New Haven residential care home, in South Elmsall, was closed down.
It was the first care home closure in the district since 2021.
Rex Develop Limited took the decision after the home was given an ‘inadequate’ rating by the Care Quality Commission in January.
A report into the closure says: “The provider decided to close the home rather than address the quality issues raised.”
The council said it was able to find new accommodation for all 31 residents at the home “with minimum disruption.”
Concerns were raised over care home provision at a full meeting of Wakefield Council on Wednesday (July 26).
Tony Hames, Tory councillor for Pontefract South, referred to the closure of New Haven and the removal of support for council-funded residents at West Ridings.
Coun Hames asked Maureen Cummings, cabinet member for communities, poverty and health: “Is this leading to a major problem for the provision for the elderly that will impact on the sustainability of the council’s finances?”
Coun Cummings replied: “It is very sad that the owners Advinia have decided to pull out of care for the local authority clients.
“These are vulnerable people.
“We are working with the families and the clients themselves to make sure that they have the help and support they need.
“The bigger question you are asking, I can’t answer here.
“It is an ever-rolling programme with care.”
Charlie Keith (Labour, Wrenthorpe and Outwood West) praised council officers for their efforts to find alternative accommodation for West Ridings residents, but added: “One of them is 103, who has lived there for four years.
“The difficulty is whether they will now be local to Wakefield. That is why they have chosen to go into this care home.
“It is a matter of, at that age of life, whether it will have a detrimental effect.”
Coun Cummings said: “I know that someone of 103 years old is not going to be moved and be well, so the decision has been taken that up to eight residents will remain there.”
“Be assured that the residents you talk about will not be moved from that home.”
Coun Betty Rhodes (Labour, Wakefield North) said: “It is a very worrying situation is such a short period of time.
“I just wonder if this is the start of something that we don’t want to happen.”