SEAFORD: Care home closure confirmed

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A CARE home in Seaford will close, and 25 people made redundant, after a final decision on its future was made this week.

Nineteen residents were at Cheneys Care Home in Links Road and the majority have already moved out after learning of plans to redevelop the site into new housing and care facilities for older people.

The decision was made by the voluntary board of trustees of Sussex Housing & Care (SHC), a local charitable housing association for older people, following a consultation process.

The decision to close the facility, which will see 25 redundancies take place as a result, was made after the board reviewed a number of reports summarising different aspects of the consultation process and its outcomes, as well as looking at the financial issues the home has been facing.

Cheneys was donated to SHC in 1946 but currently the building is now structurally unable to provide the quality of accommodation and services that SHC wants to offer future generations of Seaford residents.

Nina Crump, head of communications at SHC, said, “We are very sorry we are closing Cheneys, but the limitations of the building have made it increasingly difficult for the home to attract new residents, which when you add in the high running costs of running an older property, has meant that the home has lost more than £1m over the past six years.”

Feedback on the planned closure was gained from one-to-one meetings with the home manager, consultation forms and an independent advocacy service which was provided by Age UK East Sussex.

Residents, their families, staff and local members of the community, were also given the chance to express their views.

Of the 19 residents who lived at the home when the consultation process began, only four still remain.

Ms Crump added, “We were surprised so many of the residents and their families decided to find alternative homes straight away, even before any final decision was made.

“Though at the same time, we are pleased they have been successful in finding alternative homes that suit their needs.

“We would like to give our sincere thanks to our staff, who despite dealing with difficult circumstances themselves, have maintained their extremely high level of care and support to residents throughout this process.”

SHC has been able to redeploy eight of Cheneys staff in its other care homes.

No planning application for a new build has been submitted yet.