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.
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.