Historic Lancing care home to close

Residents at Bell Memorial Home in Lancing last year
Residents at Bell Memorial Home in Lancing last year

Guild Care has announced it will close The Bell Memorial Home in South Street, Lancing after it became a subsidiary less than a year ago.

Worthing-based charity Guild Care said maintaining the care home has become ‘increasingly difficult’ due to a change in residents’ needs and a boiler failure.

A spokesman for Guild Care said: “We have made many improvements to the care service we provide but this is becoming increasingly difficult as the needs of residents moving into the home are changing.

“A number of residents now require nursing care, which cannot be provided safely in the home.

“In addition, the building has many challenges and most recently, a complete failure of the boiler system resulted in no heating or hot water.”

The charity said it was aware the boiler needed ‘considerable continuing maintenance’, but was not aware of the internal condition of the chimney flue.

On Friday, a section of the lining of the flue caused irreparable damage to the boiler systems, which is now beyond repair due to its age.

A temporary repair to maintain heating and hot water to the home is currently in place.

Before any further work can take place, the charity said asbestos would have to be removed from the plant room.

Following these recent issues, The Bell will close by the end of next month.

Suzanne Millard, Guild Care chief executive said: “We have discussed and explored every possible option for The Bell which would allow it to remain open. “Despite our hard work I am sorry to say that no alternatives have been found.

“The board has therefore been left with no choice but to move towards the closure of The Bell in Lancing.

“Over the past year we have spent substantial sums of money on essential repairs, and estimate that further work of around half a million pounds would be needed just to maintain it to livable standards. This is simply not sustainable.

“We know that The Bell in Lancing is held in high regard amongst residents, families, staff and the wider community, so it is important to emphasise that we have given this decision very careful consideration.

“I am very sorry we have no other option than to close The Bell.”

Mrs Millard thanked the staff for their ‘loyal service’ over the years.

She added: “We also hope to redeploy the majority of staff within our other services.

“Had Guild Care not stepped in to save The Bell in early 2015, it would have closed so our support has enabled the home to operate for a further year”.

The Bell Memorial Home had 44 residents at the home as of last year.

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