Care home to close

PUBLISHED: 12:45 09 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:11 06 May 2010

Woodfield Lodge must close by the end of the month because it has failed to maintain adequate standards to care for the elderly

Woodfield Lodge must close by the end of the month because it has failed to maintain adequate standards to care for the elderly

AN OLD people s home has been ordered to close by care inspectors. They say Woodfield Lodge in Rectory Lane, Stevenage, must close by the end of the month with the loss of 20 jobs because they failed to meet adequate standards to care for the elderly. In

AN OLD people's home has been ordered to close by care inspectors.

They say Woodfield Lodge in Rectory Lane, Stevenage, must close by the end of the month with the loss of 20 jobs because they failed to meet adequate standards to care for the elderly.

In the past the private residential home has been criticised by environmental health specialists and the house also has structural problems.

Shocked staff say it may be impossible to find places for the 16 residents at such short notice and everyone remains shocked at being made redundant less than four weeks before Christmas.

The order to close the home has come from the Commission for Social Care and Inspection (CSCI).

A spokesman for the CSCI said: "The commission has been working closely with the owners of Woodfield Lodge on an improvement strategy on the level of care given and problems with the environment.

"However, it became evident to the commission and other authorities that we work with, that the home was unable to sustain adequate standards for prolonged periods and the decision was made to cancel their registration.

"We are currently working with Hertfordshire Adult Care Service to rehouse the residents with minimum disruption. Their families have been informed and where appropriate, are also being supported by adult care services."

Manager of the home Margaret Pitcher said: "Having a month's notice is too short. We are under tremendous stress now trying to cope with elderly people, some in their 90s, suffering from dementia and many other health problems.

"This time limit is, in our opinion, grossly inadequate.

"Woodfield is a registered care home and our priority is the well-being of our service users.

"In respect of Social Services and inspection units we are all angry and extremely disappointed with these so-called care services. I am appalled by the treatment my residents and their families now have to cope with.

"Social Services seem intent on placing these elderly people, who are unaware of the trauma to come, anywhere that is able to accommodate them."

Mrs Pitcher added: "A month before Christmas and all 20 staff are being made redundant and it will be miserable for our residents who will find themselves in a strange home soon away from the friends they have made here."

James Medus, a director of the home, said the reason they had fallen foul of the commission, was because of the state of the building.

"We are gutted by the decision to deregulate us which means we have been forced to close.

"Basically the home is unfit for the purpose of looking after the elderly. It is old and needs a lot of money spent on refurbishment.

"We are not being forced to close because of poor care for our residents. The building is very old and it has been a long struggle and a problem to manage.

"In it current state it is not viable to carry on. During the past three months we have spent £60,000 on the building and that has vanished down a big black hole."

Mr Medus said the building has been the subject of a number of planning applications in the past by the house's owner who lives in Stevenage, which have been turned down.

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