Shock as South Lakes care home announces decision to close

The Westmorland Gazette: Cartmel Old Grammar care home Cartmel Old Grammar care home

A SOUTH Lakes care home is to close within weeks, prompting fears for residents’ safety.

Cartmel Old Grammar will shut its doors on May 5, according to director Fred Bilsland, who said the home had been served with ‘compliance notices’ which would require expenditure ‘which could not be justified’.

But several people have contacted the Gazette to say they fear there will be a fatality if elderly residents – inc-luding some who have dementia – have to move elsewhere.

“It’s a very sad situ-ation for staff and residents,” said someone with close connections to the Cartmel home, who asked to remain anonymous.

“The staff will pick themselves up and get on with life, whereas the residents will really struggle. I’m worried some will die.”

Another said: “It’s a huge upheaval for them to suddenly be moved. It will be a massive shock to their systems if they have to move somewhere strange and with unfamiliar people.”

It is thought the home, owned by Mary Rush Care Homes, based in Doncaster, has 15 residents and employs between 20 and 30 staff.

It was in receivership before it was taken over by the company in March last year.

In January this year, an inspection was carried out by the Care Quality Commission, where it was found to be meeting all standards except one.

It was found three ‘incidents’ took place which should have been reported to the CQC but were not, although these were later rectified.

But in a letter sent to the families of residents, Mr Bilsland said: “We have done everything we can to attempt to provide a first class and enduring care facility, but sadly feel this can ultimately never be achieved.”

A relative of a resident told the Gazette: “I can’t believe the change in the staff. I’ve never seen them so worried. They’re a wonderful group and don’t deserve this.”

In an official statement, Mr Bilsland said the closure was announced with ‘great regret’.

He added the decision was made as a result of a lack of profitability, failure to recruit and retain a full staff team and necessary infrastructure costs which he described as ‘substantial’.

“Our primary concern at this time is for all our residents and we will be working hard to help and support all family members and next of kin to identify a suitable placement which fully caters and provides for the needs of each individual.”

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