‘There are people who have spent years there’
ACARE home faces a race against time to rehome 32 elderly patients after revealing it will close within weeks.
Bosses at Sutton Oaks Care Centre in Sutton broke the news to patients, their relatives and staff on August 15.
Owners Canterbury Care has until the end of September to find new care homes for the residents, many of who have dementia.
The closure was prompted by the sale of the London Road property in Sutton, which is owned by London-based Quer- cus Nursing Homes Limited.
The shock move comes at a time when dementia care is a critical issue in the town with the potential closure of Hollins Views care home.
The 30 staff at Sutton Oaks will have to apply for jobs at the company including its two other care homes in the town: the Rowans care home on Merriden Road and Woodlands care home off Park Lane.
A relative of a resident at Sutton oaks said the news had sent shock waves through the community. The woman, whose spoke anonymously, said: “We have been told that they will find new homes but I can’t see where when I understand there is a shortage of places in the town. They only have a few weeks before they have to leave. It is moving too quickly.
“There are many people with dementia at the home, including my relative. There are people who have spent many years there.”
She also claimed there has been a lack of communication by care home bosses.
She said: “I visited the care home on August 15 only to find out there had been a meeting for relatives and staff that day. I ended up having five minute meeting with a manager about it.
“Almost two weeks on and I have heard nothing else.
“It’s disgusting. I have spoken to other relatives of residents who share the same frustration.”
A spokesperson for the home moved to assure relatives that the closure will be managed in the best interests of the residents.
She said: “We acknowledge that this is a difficult time for residents and their families and we are working closely with them and the authorities to ensure a safe transition to new and appropriate placements.
“A relatives’ meeting was called at very short notice to advise as many people as possible, as quickly as possible of the circumstances.
“All next of kin were also advised by telephone. The building, which is being sold by the owner, requires extensive renovation, which necessitates vacant possession.
“It is believed that a potential new owner plans to undertake this work and eventually create a new care facility for the area. Around 30 staff are affected and will have the opportunity to apply for jobs within the wider company at other homes.”
Sutton Oaks, above, was built in 1875 for a local mill owner by architect Thomas Worthington.
It was used as a convalescent home for war victims and was once a local authority residential home. Canterbury Care began renting the build- ing in 2007.
The Grade II listed building, which has 41 rooms, is being sold by estate agent Saville with a guide price of £1.2m.
The Express was unable to contact Quercus Nursing Homes Limited for comment.