Friends of Chaseley in process of closing

Chaseley in Eastbourne
Chaseley in Eastbourne

A charity which has raised thousands of pounds for an Eastbourne rehabilitation hospital in need of improvement for more than 50 years is closing because it says it feels no longer needed.

The Friends of Chaseley which supports residents at the South Cliff residential home is in the process of being wound up. Charity officials say they felt they no longer had a place within the home which has undergone major changes and was this year told it needed to improve by health watchdogs.

Added to that, the charity was among many groups upset when the company which runs Chaseley, the Rehab Group, suddenly closed its complex of bungalows for residents off Astaire Avenue forcing disabled people to move out of their homes.

This week Friends chairman Mitch Kerry said it was time to call time on the charity, which started as a voluntary group in the 1950s when Chaseley was primarily involved in the care of severely disabled ex-servicemen and women.

Mitch Kerry said, “It is a sad time but it had become clear recently that the Friends no longer had a place within the home, and the decision was made by the members and committee at an extraordinary General Meeting to wind up the charity and distribute the remaining funds among the long term residents.

“I would like to give my sincere thanks to everyone who has freely given their time and effort to be part of The Friends over this extensive period, and I would also like to extend my best wishes to Chaseley’s residents for the future.

“For anyone who has left a legacy to The Friends, or was thinking of doing so, the outgoing committee believes a gift to the Royal British Legion instead would be a fitting tribute to the original aims of the charity.”

Since the 1950s the charity has supported the residents through a range of events and outings, financing social activities, entertainment and equipment as well as providing companionship and friendship over many years.

But Chaseley has been beset by troubles in recent years.

In May last year the Care Quality Commission said it would not take enforcement action against Chaseley for some failing standards but warned it would be making spot checks at the facility after an inspection showed the establishment did not have an effective system to regularly assess and monitor the quality of service that people received and that “improvement was needed in its quality checking systems to manage risks and assure the health, welfare and safety of people who receive care”.

An unannounced inspection in November last year by five inspectors revealed there were still problems and that Chaseley required overall improvement as well as improvements needed in relation to safety, an effective service and a responsible service.

The inspectors also rated the way the hospital was led as inadequate but did say the level of care by staff was good.

The Rehab Group was unavailable for comment on the issue of charity disbanding.

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