Essex

Westcliff Jewish care home Raymond House faces closure

A charity-run care home for Jewish people in Essex is to close later this year, it has been confirmed.

Raymond House in Westcliff currently accommodates about 25 people, many of whom have dementia.

Jewish Care said the home was losing £300,000 each year and the building was "no longer fit for purpose" but the decision was "a really difficult one".

Residents and relatives were informed of the closure on Thursday night. One said he was "disgusted".

The home provides specialised care for people of the Jewish faith, catering for their "cultural, religious and dietary needs".

'Quite heartless'

Chief executive Simon Morris said it had only been operating at 70% capacity for three years.

"We've searched our hearts deeply to make sure it's the right decision and, sadly, we think it is.

"Like any other organisation we have to get our books to balance."

Mr Morris added the decision was not a reflection on the standard of care at the home, claiming the building did not meet "best practice guidelines for looking after people with dementia".

He said it was not financially viable to refurbish the home.

Stuart Levinson, whose 89-year-old mother-in-law is a resident, said he felt the Jewish community in Southend had been "abandoned".

"We have no other facility. If they close a home in Hampstead, they've got five miles to go to another one. We've got nothing.

"At some stages in life charities have to forget about money and say they have to look after the community. I found them quite heartless."

Rabbi Warren Elf of the Southend and District Reform Synagogue said: "It is sad and it is very upsetting for all those residents who are going to have to be rehoused.

"We'll have to try and work through this and support the families and the residents wherever they want to be moved."

Jewish Care said it would help to re-accommodate the residents and would continue to have a presence in the area.

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