WORTHING charity Guild Care has “regretfully” made the decision to close one of its long-established care homes.
Ashmount Care Home in Southey Road will be closed in the next six months, because it will cost the charity too much to carry out improvements to the building.
Last September, trustees announced plans to build a new 84-bed care home to meet the needs of the changing care environment and to eventually replace the charity’s older homes.
However, the decision has now been taken to close the care home, which opened in 1963, earlier than planned.
Chief executive Suzanne Millard said: “Following a survey of remedial works by our maintenance department and a recent review by West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, our board of trustees has regretfully taken the very difficult decision to close our Ashmount home.
“It is Guild Care’s intention that every resident will be assisted to move into one of our other care homes, Irene House, Caer Gwent or Linfield, which are all located within a mile of Ashmount and Ashmount’s staff offered positions within our other services.”
Debbie Dollner, care homes operations director, said the reason for the closure is that the charity is “unable to guarantee continued delivery of the quality of service our residents have a right to expect at Ashmount”.
She added: “In particular, we have a duty of care to our residents and wish to avoid an emergency closure situation arising from a serious failure of equipment such as the lift or the fabric of the building such as the roof.”
The charity said there were no immediate health and safety concerns, but the building would not be suitable for use up until the new care home was built.
Suzanne Millard added: “We understand that this is an extremely difficult decision for our residents, their relatives and staff to take on board, but I would like to reassure you that Guild Care will do everything possible to ensure that the closure of the home takes place in a planned manner and in a way that maintains the well-being of our residents.”
Over the next few weeks, all 42 residents and their relatives will be offered one-to-one meetings with senior staff to discuss their individual needs and requirements. Guild Care said it hopes to offer the majority of Ashmount’s 68 members of staff alternative positions within its other services.