Fears for future of 19 elderly residents as Montague House confirms imminent closure

John Brogan is one of those who will need to find a new home

Nineteen elderly residents are facing an uncertain future following the news that Montague House in Brockenhurst Road, Ramsgate,will have to close in a matter of weeks, at the end of September.

The private care home is owned by Roy Howse, has confirmed that the closure is due to “multiple issues” including finances and will issue a statement on Thursday.

The closure is not forced and is not a result of intervention by the Care Quality Commission.

Many of the residents are very elderly, some in their 90s and over 100 years old, and have lived in the home for many years. Many are frail and suffer from Dementia or Alzheimer’s, requiring stability and expert 24 hours care.

When Montague House closes all residents will need to be found new homes.

The staff are affected too. Some employees have worked at Montague House for 25 years. This commitment and knowledge of the residents will be hard to replicate.

According to Age Concern research transition for residents is problematic and exposure to stress can lead to a depressed immune system leaving some people physically vulnerable and the emotional upheaval will be considerable.

The best elderly care is dependent on a ‘continuity of care’ model, which will now be disrupted.

Shocked

Ramsgate resident Clare Dove, who’s former partner John lives in Montague house, said,“I’m so shocked, and angry. I had thought John’s care was secure. As the home is local I’ve been able to visit him regularly, making sure he is ok.

“Contact is important to both of us. The care is rated ‘good’ by the CQC. I have no idea about where John can go next. He is very settled and comfortable here. The staff are very caring. I’m fearful about how this will affect John’s health and well-being and concerned for the other residents and their families. Its appalling that they will have to move.”

Since 2010, demand for social care has increased, however councils across the country have struggled to fulfil their duty to provide it. The Government has been promising a Green Paper on Social Care since 2017. This has been delayed.

Kent County Councillor for Ramsgate Karen Constantine has visited the home and is calling on county council leader Paul Carter to use council reserves for a rescue package.

She said: “Yet again the most vulnerable, and those who provide care for them, are bearing the brunt of austerity. The idea of moving these residents in abhorrent.

“At this time of their lives they should have comfort, great care and total security. These elderly people will suffer immeasurably if they are forced to move. That’s why I’m calling on Paul Carter, Leader of KCC, to use some of the council’s reserves, which total £173.604m, to keep the home going whilst a rescue package is sought.

“Kent County Council should take a lead in supporting the residents and help to formulate a solution. This is a crisis, what are these eye watering reserves for if we can’t help our most vulnerable citizens when they need our support most? Without urgent action their will be preventable deaths.”

Cllr Constantine is waiting for an answer from KCC. She has vowed to fight the closure.

Thanet District Councillor for Eastcliff Helen Crittenden says Montague House must stay, adding: “I will fight to defend my residents right to live in dignity and peace. The Government need to urgently look at the funding formula for this vital care.”

Kent County Council confirmed it had received 4 weeks notice yesterday so we will be ensuring everyone has alternative accommodation.

18 Comments

  1. WE just can’t rely on private companies to provide the services we need. Private companies collapse all the time. We need long term security. In the end, only local and national governments are here to stay. Private companies and businessmen sell up, move away, even die. But there will always be the government and the people/taxpayers. When the Banks collapsed in the USA and around the world in 2008, the governments had to step in to bail them out.No-one else could or would.
    The UK government is spending billions to keep the privatised Rail companies going. The government is spending billions building the HS2 Rail line before giving it to private companies. We should just run Care Homes (and railways) as part of the public estate as both are crucial to our well being. Leave private enterprise to deal with superficial whims like new plastic pet toys or nodding dogs for the backs of cars.

      • Wrong. Stagecoach aren’t a disgrace. Stagecoach didn’t cut routes, KCC did. Stagecoach follow what KCC says. Likewise you can’t expect Stagecoach to operate services that do not make any money and are NOT used.

        • Stagecoach have nothing but contempt for customers & employees alike. The company is greedy & wants to keep profitable routes AT ANY COST & is prepared to run competitors off the road in order to achieve that aim. I expect Stagecoach to behave in a professional manner & to provide a decent bus service, neither of which they do. Stagecoach say “Jump” & KCC say, “How high?” Best buds, eh? She hasn’t acquired our airport. though! 😉

        • Stagecoach run the business to make profits for the shareholders, not to provide a service for passengers.
          It’s what private enterprise does.
          If you want a bus *service*, then it needs to be run by KCC or TDC or whatever, fir the benefit of the passengers.
          Same with care homes. Private enterprise = make as much money as possible.

      • By “she” I suppose Fran means Ann Gloag, who is an absolute villain in comparison with the saintly RSP, of course. For some, anyway.

        But to get back to the subject- this is what you get when the Tories are in power. A government which cares nothing for the poor, those with ill-health, children and old people. But the remedy is in the hands of the public – don’t vote for the selfish so-and-sos.

  2. I agree with Keefogs.
    I have nothing against private enterprise per se, but some things are just too important to be left to the whims of entrepreneurs. The tragedy of Montague House is just one of many such things. One could add NHS provision (including dental care), electricity, gas and water supply, the railways.

  3. Can someone please tell me why have £173.604 Million in reserve. What is if for. Maybe for pension pots ? Spend it on things that matter. For years K.C.C have been pleading poverty to the government.

    • All prudent local authorities have money in reserve, in case of unforeseen circumstances: disastrous flooding, or storm damage to public infrastructure

    • It is important for Council to have sufficient reserves. I’m not asking for a bail out, but for some help to keep the 19 residents in their homes and for a rescue package to be found. Reserves could be used. Pensions are in a ‘different pot’. We shouldn’t treat our elders like this! I’ve had no answer from KCC yet.

  4. The only way things will change is with a change of government. This lot are so in hock to the city slickers and hedge fund muppets they only have one consideration MONEY.That’s why you’ll see some here objecting to the possibility of a Labour government who will go after the wealthy corporations to cough up for care homes and other public services . As for railways, water energy let’s have put them back to the people, it would make the likes of Boris and co go into a cold sweat. His days are numbered anyway, even his tribe think he’s a fool.

  5. I think you are all missing the point here.Some very frail residents are going to lose their home.Their quality of life will deteriorate with consequences for them, that we can speculate upon.
    I am sure the owner is finding it difficult to cope, as the fees paid by local authorities do not necessarily reflect the cost of providing good quality care.
    The residents might be your relatives and we should treat them as if they are.
    KCC needs to step in right now, and come up with a solution that will mean that their care continues unaffected by a change of owner or is this another not west of Ashford problem that can be ignored.

    • It is quite correct to demand that Kent County Council takes over the failing Care Home. But I have been checking KCC’s record in running Care Homes and I discover that KCC is currently planning to CLOSE one of its own Care Homes down in Sandwich. Called Wayfarers, it is well regarded locally and there is a campaign to keep it open. The Sandwich Town Council passed a resolution that it should be left open ,at least until a proper alternative is ALREADY in place. But it looks like the Tory councillors on KCC will ignore that and close it anyway. They claim to be looking at alternatives including assistance in people’s homes. But do we believe that this Council will provide the funds and staff to enable people with different medical issues to remain in their own homes safely and happily?? I don’t think so.

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