Burnley dementia suite to close

Heather Grange Care Home.
Heather Grange Care Home.
  • Heather Grange dementia unit will close
  • 22 residents must move out
  • Families given up to six weeks to find new homes
  • Care home has struggled to find qualified staff

The devastated daughter of a dementia sufferer being forced out of a Burnley care home says it is like they have had a death in the family.

Miss Janet Matthews was speaking out after bosses at Heather Grange care home in Queen’s Road announced they were shutting down their Garden Nursing Suite, where those with severe dementia are cared for.

Only time will tell how this will impact upon mum but I’m sure some of the residents will not survive the shock

Resident’s daughter

Miss Matthews said the home, whose slogan reads “Care For Life”, had given her and sister, Linda, just four weeks to find a new home for their vulnerable 83-year-old mum.

“We’re extremely upset. People who choose Heather Grange for the nice, luxurious surroundings, they want care for their elderly relative from when they go into the home right up until the end of their life.

“They claim they can’t find qualified nurses but then how come all the other care homes have nurses. You’d think somewhere as luxurious as Heather Grange, they would be willing to pay that little bit more for staff. It’s all about money and profits.

“One home we went to jsut shook their heads when we told them what had happened.”

Miss Matthews’ mum, Audrey, moved into Heather Grange just before her 80th birthday. She was original admitted to the home’s general residential suite but after two days, due to the trauma of leaving home, she was moved to the residential dementia unit.

Eighteen months ago her condition worsened and she was transferred to the Garden Nursing Suite.

“Only time will tell how this will impact upon mum but I’m sure some of the residents will not survive the shock,” said Miss Matthews. “We received a vague letter on Wednesday, March 18th, telling us that we had to go to a meeting the following Wednesday. That is all we were told. Then at the meeting they broke the news to us. It was very upsetting.

“We have been told to find something, a referral or a bed within four weeks and by six weeks they really want people out. There are a round 22 residents affected. I believe they are downgrading some of them so they will care for them in the residential dementia unit but obviously not all of them. We would not stay there now even if we were offered something given the way they have treated people.

“We have been looking at other homes but it is difficult. There is nothing more we would love than to bring mum home to live with us but she’s wheelchair bound now and we just can’t offer that level of care.”

Angela Swift, managing director of Silk Healthcare who run the home, said: “It is with great regret and after lengthy consideration that we have decided to close Garden Nursing Suite. We always have in mind the welfare of our vulnerable elderly residents whose well-being must be paramount.

“Due to a shortage of suitably qualified nurses both Regionally and Nationally, we have found it difficult to recruit suitable nursing staff needed to safeguard our residents.

We are working closely with families and professionals to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible during this difficult time.”