Elderly residents told they'll have to leave 'out-of-date' Orchard Portman House (From Somerset County Gazette)
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Elderly residents told they'll have to leave 'out-of-date' Orchard Portman House
SEVERAL people in their 90s with dementia are among 27 residents whose nursing home has told them to find somewhere else to live by the end of October.
Bosses at Orchard Portman House dropped the bombshell to shocked residents and their families that they are removing over 20 beds as parts of the former school premises are ‘out-of-date’.
Staff have been informed it is hoped to keep redundancies to “an absolute minimum”.
Doug Hooper has been trying to find new accommodation for his 91-year-old mother, Marjorie, and her sister-in-law, Linda, 93, who have lived at Orchard Portman for a number of years.
He said: “We were called to a meeting when they broke the news to us and the residents.
“Many were incapable of grasping the fact they were being told they have to leave, but some were visibly upset and crying.
"It won’t be easy finding places in other homes for 27 residents in just eight weeks.
“It was out of the blue.
“We’d had a meeting earlier in the year when we were told of proposals to bring the building up to standard and that nobody would be asked to leave.”
Orchard Portman director of operations Peter Handy said the “outdated” building has lots of narrow corridors that are difficult to negotiate for residents with high levels of physical dependency and for staff to work safely in.
Mr Handy added: “We apologise for the disruption and inconvenience to our residents and their families, but we believe this is the best decision to make in light of the increasing challenge of maintaining a high quality service in an environment which is out-of-date and inappropriate for a modern care home facility.”
He said the decision to close beds “is entirely ours and does not reflect any pressure from regulatory bodies or commissioners."
Bosses will work with families of private residents and Somerset County Council, which funds some of the clients, in an effort to find suitable local alternative homes to take those affected.
In “exceptional” circumstances, the deadline for moving will be extended.
A county council spokesman said: “We’re working with Orchard Portman House and others within health and social care to ensure all residents affected move to a suitable home nearby with the least possible disruption.”
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