Concerns raised over closure of Gosport care home

Woodcote Lodge
Woodcote Lodge
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FEARS have been raised over the future of 50 elderly residents after it was announced that their care home will be closing down.

Managers of Woodcot Lodge Care Home in Rowner Road, Gosport, have cited difficulty in recruiting and retaining nurses – and difficulties with rent – as the reasons for the site’s closure.

But the decision will have a profound impact on both the 50 residents and 45 staff members at the care home.

Sharon Lewis’ mother, Gloria Underwood, is one of the residents at the care home.

Having only moved in a few months ago, it seems that the 81-year-old will soon be on the move again.

Sharon, who lives in Elson, said: ‘Nobody really knows what happens next.

‘It took my mum quite a while to settle in when she first moved, and we were worried that she wouldn’t actually make it.

‘I don’t know if she can manage another move.

‘I am also worried about my dad, Dennis, who currently takes two buses to see her every day.

‘If she is moved further away, how will he be able to see her?

‘In my opinion it has been run into the ground recently.

‘Long-serving, loyal staff have left in their droves including the nurses.’

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said: ‘The news of the closure of Woodcot Lodge Care Home is concerning for residents and their families, many of whom are elderly and cannot travel long distances.

‘I have contacted the director of adult services at Hampshire County Council to ask what support is available for those affected.’

Regional managing director of Four Seasons Health Care Martin Murphy said: ‘The proposal to cease operating the home has not been arrived at easily and it is based on a combination of factors.

‘We have had local difficulties in recruiting and retaining nurses and carers with the right level of skills, which has necessitated a very high usage of temporary agency staff – as many as 600 hours a week – and resulted in challenges to maintain care quality to the standards that we expect all of our homes to provide.

‘The home has also struggled to remain viable after overheads such as rent and the higher costs of temporary agency staff.

‘We currently have 50 residents within the service, which is well below its capacity of 85.’

Mr Murphy says that the future of the current residents will be in safe hands.

He said: ‘The wellbeing of residents is our priority and we will work closely with Hampshire County Council’s Social Services team to ensure that the residents and their families are supported to find suitable alternative placements.

‘Woodcot Lodge will continue to provide care while we allow plenty of time for the most appropriate arrangements to be made for all residents and we will do everything we can to ensure there is no disruption to their care during the transition.’

Four Seasons Health Care says the closure is likely to be in early 2018.