William Eichler 24 March 2022

County council to close four care homes

County council to close four care homes image
Image: pikselstock/Shutterstock.com.

Gloucestershire County Council is considering a proposal to close four of its existing care homes due to a combination of factors such as a lack of demand, the impact of COVID, and staffing difficulties.

The proposal is a response to recent market research which found that 86% of providers had been negatively impacted by the coronavirus and 70% reported that a loss of income had had a moderate-high impact on their business.

The loss of resident income from both private and public funded sources, and difficulties retaining staff were also reported by providers.

In response to these factors, the local authority is considering closing Orchard House (Tewkesbury), Westbury Court (Forest of Dean), Bohanam House (Gloucester), and The Elms (Stroud).

The council also said that demand for standard residential care home places has been falling consistently for the past five years with more people are wanting to be cared for at home.

Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: ‘These proposals reflect the outcome of the market engagement we carried out last year and the changing needs and preferences of Gloucestershire residents.

‘I understand closing homes will cause concern to residents living in them and their families. That is why, if the recommendations are agreed next week, we will spend six weeks consulting with residents and their relatives, before a final decision is taken by cabinet in June.

‘There will of course always be a need for residential care for those who need long term care and the changes that are being proposed will help ensure they receive this in modern facilities that have en-suite bathrooms and is flexible enough to adapt as needs of an individual change and develop.’

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