IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Relatives plead: Don’t close care home

19-bed Stacey Street, Islington’s last NHS-run care home for the elderly, has been earmarked for closure

30 March, 2018 — By Emily Finch

RELATIVES have said they do not want to see the borough’s last NHS-run elderly care home closed and residents moved to a privately-run home.

As reported in the Tribune earlier this month, Stacey Street Nursing Home, in Finsbury Park, has been earmarked for closure by Islington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The NHS body, which plans and buys healthcare, says closure of the 19-bed home will bring savings of between £200,000 and £475,000 a year.

The home, which cares for those with dementia alongside physical and psychiatric needs, was rated “good” by an independent health watchdog after an inspection.

“Caring” staff were praised and the home described as well-maintained.

One woman, who wishes to remain anonymous but has a relative in the home, said the majority of residents and their families opposed closure.

“With an ageing population, the borough should be looking to open more care homes not close them,” she said. “The move is a big worry. As with any new kind of environment residents will get very anxious with the unfamiliarity.”

Residents have been given the option of moving half a mile to St Anne’s Care Home, run by Forest Healthcare. St Anne’s has been rated “good” by the Care Quality Commission. Two years ago the council approved planning permission for 15 new en-suite rooms to be built alongside the existing 50 bedrooms.

Another relative of a Stacey Street resident, said: “It is difficult to imagine this relaxed spirit of community flourishing in a new home which will be three-and-a-half times the size.”

The Town Hall and CCG have said residents will have a better quality of life at St Anne’s, which has bigger en-suite rooms. A final decision on the move will be made in May.

A CCG spokesman said it would “take great care to fully explain what’s happening to residents and address any concerns”. He added: “We are putting the needs of residents first. We strongly believe that St Anne’s nursing home will provide the best possible care for residents long-term.

“Unfortunately, the current nursing care model at Stacey Street is very costly and NHS resources are overstretched. Any savings will go back into providing care to patients.”

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