Care home planned for closure

A CARE home which looks after the elderly will shut within the next few months, leaving residents and their families having to search for alternative accommodation.

The planned closure of Pirton Hall in Shillington will leave its 14 residents having to resettle elsewhere, and a number of staff out of a job.

The decision was made by senior management at BUPA, which has owned the home for the past 17 years, leaving staff and residents shocked.

Head chef Paul Sarrington said: “The many staff employed at the premises will have to seek new employment - not an appealing prospect in the current economic climate. Many have dedicated their working lives to Pirton Hall, contributing over 20 years of service.

“The majority are from outlying villages. It is unlikely they will find work as convenient and secure as they already have. There is, as it seems, little hope for salvation.”

Staff at the home may be redeployed to other care homes owned by the company within a 30 mile radius. Residents may also be relocated to those homes.

But there are fears over how they may cope with the upheaval.

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“It has taken many years to build up trust and understanding with them and to develop specific techniques to cope with their needs and infirmity,” added Mr Sarrington.

“Moving them to alternative homes is a daunting prospect for their relatives. The fear is that new staff will not have the foreknowledge, skills or even the time to accommodate their loved ones.

“One resident even started crying when it was announced.”

BUPA said that it expected the process to take three months, and would not close the home until all residents had found a suitable alternative.

Rhona McLeod, regional director, said: “We have reluctantly decided that it is in the best long-term interests of our residents to close Pirton Hall.

“It is a good care home and we have looked at all the alternatives, but the age and layout of the building means it cannot continue to be upgraded to meet modern standards and expectations.

“The welfare of residents is our number one priority and we will work with them and their families to find acceptable alternative accommodation. We will also be working to help staff to find alternative positions.

“I can assure residents and their relatives that the home will not be closed until we have ensured everyone has found an appropriate new home.”

It is not yet known what the future of the hall will be, but BUPA has confirmed it will be selling it as soon as all residents have moved out.

“Our current priority is to ensure that Pirton Hall is closed with a minimum of upset to all involved,” added the spokesman.

“The future use of the building and the site will be up to any future owner.”