Buckmaster House retirement home residents informed of consultation over proposed closure

Buckmaster House (image google maps)

Residents, and their families, at Buckmaster House retirement home in Broadstairs have been informed today (May 17) that the site is being considered for closure.

The Western Esplanade site is run the Abbeyfield charity following a merger agreement in 2018 with Buckmaster Trustees that is understood to have included a financial deal.

Abbeyfield  is a charity for older people providing housing across the UK and internationally and owns over 400 houses in seven countries.

In a letter sent out following a meeting with residents and families today the charity says: “Having considered all the options available to us and the cost of work to meet requirements, we have made the difficult decision to begin consultations on the closure of Buckmaster House and a number of other homes.”

The letter says the charity has had to overcome “significant challenges” from living through an “unprecedented pandemic, the war in Ukraine causing a huge increase in energy costs, rising inflation and escalating operation costs” and “a nationwide workforce shortage.”

The charity says that following a review it has “identified some properties” that can no longer be “operated sustainably.”

The letter says no firm decision on closure will be made until the consultation has been completed and if the decision is to shut residents will be helped to find a new home.

One family member said: “Elderly vulnerable people who thought they were in a safe haven have been left to flounder.”

Buckmaster House has 21 en-suite rooms and it is understood that 14 of those are currently occupied.

The property was built in 1895, commissioned by Jane Buckmaster in memory of her husband Thomas Buckmaster, a Savile Row tailor in London.

The house was originally set up as a place for women in the Brixton area to stay for convalescence or come for a holiday. Over the years, the house has been restored and modernised to provide accommodation for people of retirement age.

An Abbeyfield spokesperson said: “As a responsible housing and care provider, we conduct periodic reviews of all of our homes to make sure they remain suitable for residents.

“We recently completed the latest review of all of our homes as part of making a clear plan for the future of the organisation and each of our homes. These reviews considered how our properties can keep pace with the changing needs, tastes and expectations of older people, the investment required to bring them up to modern standards and whether they are able to meet new regulatory and energy efficiency requirements.

“We also needed to reflect how the past few difficult years have impacted the organisation’s finances, particularly the impact of the Covid pandemic, the huge increase in energy prices, rising inflation, and rapidly increasing operating costs.

“Having fully considered the findings of this review, it is with regret that we have made the difficult decision to begin consulting on the closure of Buckmaster House. Everybody taking part in the consultation process will have the opportunity to share their thoughts, ideas and any proposals they may have before a final decision is made.

“We fully acknowledge the impact that this consultation, and any potential outcomes, will have on our residents and colleagues in particular, and we will be doing everything we can to support and assist them through this difficult process.”

An advice/consultation line has been opened, Monday-Friday 8.30am-7pm, Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday 9am-2pm on 0808 196 3705.


    • I understand that the proprietors of Buckmaster House are a charity.
      Fuel costs (for whatever reason) have gone through the roof, and finding suitable staff (due to Brexit) has been tricky, too.
      Once upon a time we had Locl Authority care homes; then along came the Tories.

      • Your right Phyllis, after we were bombed out my family were rehoused in a small council estate that was built virtually overnight post war, although to start with it had no roads! As people grew older, and their children left home, many houses were under occupied, with just 2 people in 3 or 4 bed houses. So the council built small studio bungalows, and elderly people who could no longer care for a large house, and garden,like my parents, were happy to move into them, as they were close to where they had lived. There were district nurses too! This was anathema to M. Thatcher & Co, as the free market was supposed to take care of societies needs, and we all know what happened when she gained power! This is the problem with the Tory’s they just don’t understand that capitalism fails to redistribute the wealth created by the workers, and its the job of society to provide for the weak, frail, and vulnerable!

  1. There is a lot of organisations that must be thankful of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. The amount of times they are used as excuses is staggering.

  2. Private ownership, mixed with charitable bodies. So it may close if neither private investment nor charitable donations can keep it going.
    This is the future for the National Health Service-if we allow it! And I’m not sure which Party will protect the NHS as fully owned, managed and funded as a public body.

    • The future of the nhs is one in which it’s overwhelmed by the needs of the eldery PLUS those who’ve bought their health needs forward in life by being overweight/obese, as a result demand is way more than was ever envisaged. Give it 20 years and the current older generation have died off then things will rebalance a bit , though we’ll still have to pay far more as treating fat people is more expensive than those nearer a healthy weight
      ( daily mail chosen as no pay wall, but other reports are available)

      But the nation doesn’t want to be responsible for its health at a personal level. So to pay for all the associated excess weight costs, we either pay ever more taxes or reduce services elsewhere. Not forgetting of course all those who are less economically productive or reliant on benefits due to their choices.

  3. Residents PAY to live there – the word ‘charity’ confuses the issue with regard to ownership/management. It is NOT a CARE HOME either – and Phyllis, what the hell has it got to do with the Tories. Why not blame the Monarchy? A very sad time for 14 residents of course – but if there isn’t FULL occupancy then that is down to bad management as the business runs at a loss ie £21,000 very month…

    • Wonder why it’s not running at FULL occupancy? Maybe they have had this plan of selling off for a while now and not bothered replacing those who have left or died?
      More likely been offered an exceptional price from a developer some time ago and deliberately showing a loss of £21k every month – The problem is most don’t have the capabilities to see through the twisted path of big business, this makes it easy to pull any stunt you like. Something the Tory government are very good at and maybe that’s what Phillis is referring to?

  4. When the NHS was set up people used to smoke,drink and eat fry ups for breakfast. Then they’d die aged 66/67.

    Thanks to campaigns on smoking and all the other healthy advice promulgated “to help the NHS” people can now expect to live much longer, often beyond 80 or 90, costing additional billions to treat their various ailments associated with aging. Not to mention the cost of caring in homes like this one.

  5. You can’t blame the charity – I would imagine they have looked at, if we need to sell some homes what would give us the most, much needed cash injection? of course the Broadstairs one for sure!
    Developers would pay a high price for that site in these ‘lets build luxury flats & houses for rich Londoners’ times – Welcome to the great ‘Broadstairs sell-off’
    Out with the old in with the new, no one gives a dam about the poor old people who’s remaining little life they have left will be in turmoil – Most of us know the stress moving or loosing your home can cause anyone at any age, this stress will more than likely kill them off at their age – This country and the world just p*ss me off more each day – no one cares unless they can see £££ signs everywhere 🙁

  6. Hmm identified a number of properties they can sell off for highest price more like! Hope TDC puts a protection order on the trees there- it’s a big bit of land which must have developers queuing up!

  7. First the Gap House site, now Buckmaster.. even though they are still advertising for over 55s. It isn’t a care home as such, more like sheltered housing, but it is massive and there is a large family of foxes living in the grounds, exactly the same as at Gap House!

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