“Some of those elderly people won’t survive the move; the relatives of the people in there are absolutely devastated. This is a very scruffy way to deal with the elderly people.”
Real fears have been voiced for the plight of Abbeyfield Shandford residents who call Budleigh Salterton their home, now the care home is under threat of closure.
The care home charity has admitted Shandford needs ‘significant investment’ to bring the building up to scratch with fire and health and safety rules. It said it ‘does not believe’ renovations or cash will solve the problems and has begun consulting on closure.
A spokesman for Abbeyfield Shandford said: “No resident or staff member will be asked to leave the home until the beginning of 2020 at the earliest.”
Abbeyfield Chief Executive, David McCullough said there was ‘no other choice’ but to begin consulting on closing the home.
He said the consultation would run from now until November, and no decision made until January 2020, at the earliest.
Any funds raised from the closure – or sale of the home – would be reinvested back into the charity, the CEO said.
A letter from Abbeyfield Chief Executive, David McCullough, seen by East Devon News, said ‘we firmly believe this course of action is in the best interests of all the older people’.
Devon County Councillor Christine Channon, Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton division, said she would fight against the proposal to close Shandford.
She said: “I do know there are five people there who are over a hundred. They are not easily going to make the transition somewhere else. Some of those elderly people won’t survive the move.
“I think it’s brutal for those people to try and be rehoused. I shall be fighting it with tooth and nail and offering any support I can, in any particular way.
“They say it’s because it’s not viable.”
“This is a very scruffy way to deal with the elderly people, a lot of who have dementia.
“The relatives of the people in there are absolutely devastated; the community really supports Shandford.”
Mr McCullough said Shandford was among 22 Abbeyfield services ‘which either no longer meet the needs of the older people living there; are unlikely to fulfil future regulatory obligations, or will soon be unable to meet the high standards the people who live in our homes, now, or in the future, deserve and expect.’
He wrote: ‘Shandford requires significant investment to bring the building up to market standards.
‘Compliance work is required in relation to Health and Safety and fire compartmentation and it is impossible to create larger spaces which makes this home unfit for the future.
‘Additionally, there are other residential homes in the area which are more attractive.
‘Having conducted an in-depth review of the options available to us, we do not believe renovations or further investment will solve these issues and have no other choice but to begin consulting on the closure of the home
‘In the event of a closure we will do everything in our power to find residents an alternative place at another nearby Abbeyfield Society or Abbeyfield Member Society home, where they will enjoy the same high standards they are used to.
‘Where this is not possible, or where the resident chooses a different service, we will do everything we can to support them to find a suitable new home in which they are happy.
‘We firmly believe this course of action is in the best interests of all the older people that we support now, and those we can and should support in the future.
‘Any funds raised from the closure of the 22 services will be reinvested into the charity and the communities we support.’
A spokesman for Abbeyfield Shandford said: “Following an in-depth review, we have decided that despite doing our best to maintain the home, its size and design mean that in the near future it is unlikely to meet the high standards residents and regulators expect, and that we pride ourselves on providing.
“Having considered all options available to us, we have made the very difficult decision to open discussions with residents and colleagues about our proposal to close the home.
“These discussions will run until November, after which a final decision on the future of the home will be made.
“No resident or staff member will be asked to leave the home until the beginning of 2020 at the earliest.”