Norwich care home closes suddenly over ‘serious concerns’
PUBLISHED: 06:59 12 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:25 12 December 2018
A mental health care home will shut today following a visit by inspectors who raised “serious concerns” about the quality of care.
The sudden closure of Holmwood on Harvey Lane, Thorpe St Andrew, has left families scrambling to find new homes for their loved ones just two weeks before Christmas.
Staff, meanwhile, were given a few days notice of the closure of the 28-bedroom home for people with mental health issues and learning difficulties.
Stella Shuttleworth, 81, whose son Kevin, 58, has been at the home for around a year said: “It is very stressful because I’m not well myself.”
She helped her son move to a new home on Monday after being told by staff on Saturday that he needed to be out by Wednesday.
Mrs Shuttleworth, from Sprowston, said: “I just feel so sorry for the residents there.”
The home was rated as “good” by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in April last year.
But the CQC website now states: “We are carrying out checks at Holmwood. We will publish a report when our check is complete.”
Mrs Shuttleworth said staff told her it was shutting because of concerns about it not meeting standards and this was confirmed by Norfolk County Council.
Holmwood is run by a company called Baytree Community Care (London) Ltd.
The company said nobody was available for comment when contacted by this newspaper, while a staff member at the care home claimed it was not closing.
However a spokesman for Norfolk County Council, which places residents there, said the CQC had cancelled Holmwood’s registration which meant it must shut today.
They said the council had been working with the residents and their families to find alternative accommodation.
“Most residents have now moved to their new homes and the remaining ones will leave on Wednesday,” they said.
“The closure notice was issued due to serious concerns about the quality of the accommodation and the care provided.”
The company runs another care home in London which is rated as “good”.
At Holmwood’s last inspection in 2017 the CQC praised it for making improvements and increasing staffing levels, compared to 2016.