Care home closures – 60 jobs at risk, residents must move

Care home closures – 60 jobs at risk, residents must move

TWO care homes in Dewsbury will shut in the coming weeks with the potential loss of 60 jobs.

Sunnyside, on Oxford Road, and West House, on Quarry Road, are both run by Northfields Care Homes Ltd.

The Dewsbury-based firm also had their Oxford Grange home closed in May after a visit from inspectors.

Residents, staff and carers were told of Sunnyside’s closure at a meeting on Monday, attended by owner Surinder Khurana.

He confirmed to The Press that West House is also affected and will close over the same four to six-week period.

Mr Khurana blamed his own failing health and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and added: “I can’t deliver their requirements in the timescale demanded.”

He said staff have been given redundancy notices and was sorry for the outcome.

Mr Khurana said: “I wanted to give residents the longest time to find another place rather than have the CQC come in and do it for me.”

In May Kirklees Council ordered Oxford Grange’s closure after being told of provisional CQC findings.

When inspectors released their final report last month the care home was branded inadequate across the board.

The CQC have since visited both Sunnyside and West House and reports are pending.

A spokesman said: “I can confirm the CQC is aware of the situation and will continue to monitor it as closely as possible.”

Kirklees Council and CQC officials attended Monday’s meeting at Sunnyside with residents, carers and staff.

A source, who was there but did not want to be named, visits a relative with dementia.

She described Sunnyside as “wonderful” and wanted to know why the care home cannot be sold on.

“Everything else is going well so we wanted to know why it couldn’t be put up for sale, but no answer was given,” she said.

The source said the car park and rooms had been renovated while food was described as “out of this world”.

She said she had no concerns about the care of her relative and also praised staff.

“When I came out of that meeting I was devastated,” she said. “I feel for the lovely staff who might now lose their jobs.”

As was the case at Oxford Grange, relatives were given brochures about other local care homes.

The source said: “We’ve got short notice to arrange an alternative. In our case there’s few other care homes that take Alzheimer’s patients.

“I called one (on Tuesday morning) and the lady there said the phone hadn’t stopped ringing. She said she was glad to take the call, but after a talk it was clear they don’t have the right facilities for us.”

Jim Bell, regional organiser of the Unison union, said: “This case shows the difficulties of allowing the private sector to run important public services like care for the elderly. If, for example, Kirklees Council has to take over, then it questions the whole point of having private firms run them in the first place.”

A council spokeswoman said it was Mr Khurana who made the closure decision. She added: “We are disappointed to hear that two care homes in Dewsbury, Sunnyside and West House, which are owned by Northfields Care Ltd, will close in the next few weeks.

“Our absolute priority will be to make sure that the needs of the residents come first.

“We are working with Northfields Care Ltd to ensure people receive the care and support they need throughout any planned changes. We are also working closely with the CQC and the clinical commissioning groups to support residents and families through this difficult time.”

Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff commented: “This is  extremely concerning, that so soon after the closure of Oxford Grange we have two more care homes closing in Dewsbury.

“I will continue to keep in regular contact with Kirklees Council to ensure everything is being done to mitigate disruption and support the residents and families affected.

“My office is open Monday to Friday for anyone who requires further support at this difficult time.”

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