A CARE home has announced it is to close after a steady fall in resident numbers.
Sixteen elderly residents of Gardner House residential care home in Brierton Lane, Hartlepool, are in the process of being found new places at other homes in the area.
We have reached the difficult decision that we can no longer continue to operate the service at Gardner HouseRegional manager Mandy Postle
The owner, Community Integrated Care, says the home is currently less than half full due to the choice of more modern homes around, causing Gardner House to rack up losses of £277,000 over the past two years.
The home will close by July 8 and the charity says it will support staff to try to find positions in other services it provides locally.
Hartlepool Borough Council, which funds a number of residents’ care, is also working closely with Community Integrated Care to help the residents find alternative suitable accommodation.
Mandy Postle, regional manager for Community Integrated Care, said: “For over 15 years, we have been committed to delivering the very best service to the residents living at Gardner House in Hartlepool.
“Unfortunately, the home no longer offers the standard of living environment now expected in a modern care home.
“Local people have a choice of many newer, more flexible homes within the Hartlepool area and this has meant that demand for the service at Gardner House has steadily fallen in recent years. The home is currently 45 per cent below capacity.
“This has led to Gardner House making an unsustainable £277,000 loss over the past two years, which has effectively been subsidised by our charity.”
She added the cost of urgent repairs and refurbishment would be high but it would still not be possible to adapt Gardner House to include modern facilities that people want, such as en-suite rooms.
Ms Postle added: “After very serious consideration, we have reached the difficult decision that we can no longer continue to operate the service at Gardner House and the home will close on July 8.
“We have spent a long time looking at every alternative option, with the best interests of residents and staff in mind, but there are simply no viable options available to us.
“The wellbeing of residents living at Gardner House is absolutely paramount and we will do everything possible ensure that the move to their new homes is a smooth, positive and successful one.”
Families of the 16 residents affected by the closure were invited to meetings on Wednesday to discuss the options and support available to them.
A council spokesman added: “The council has a contract with CIC and funds care at Gardner House for a number of elderly people with social care needs who have chosen to live there.
“The wellbeing of the Gardner House residents is our foremost consideration and we are working closely with CIC to help the residents to find alternative suitable accommodation in other residential homes in Hartlepool and to ensure that this is done as smoothly as possible.”