Broadstairs care homes closures causes concerns

The closure of two care homes in a Kent seaside town without explanation is an "insult to residents and staff", the GMB union has said.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) announced the immediate closure of the Woodlands and Fairfield Manor care homes in Broadstairs last week.

Inspectors said they had identified "serious concerns with the standards of care" at both homes.

The union wants the CQC to defer the decision pending a full investigation.

Spokesman Andy Prendergast said meetings with staff had taken place but neither the union or its members were aware of the reasons given for the closure.

Previous CQC inspections stated the homes offered a good standard of care, he said.

Fifty-seven staff work at the two sites in Fairfield Road, which up until recently cared for up to 59 residents.

'Extreme step'

All the residents have been moved out of Fairfield, but those at Woodlands are still there pending the formal notice of closure.

The CQC said it was working with Kent County Council to ensure that people are "safe and properly cared for".

Mr Prendergast said: "Residents and their families have been in tears not knowing what is going on or what will be happening in the future.

"Staff have been left not knowing if they will be able to pay next month's rent.

"At the very least they deserve an explanation as to what has happened to justify this extreme step."

Gale Stirling, head of inspection for adult social care in the South East, said: "Our priority is to ensure that people's safety and welfare are met properly and we will take any appropriate action to make this happen."

Anne Tidmarsh, director of older people and physical disability at Kent County Council, added she expected a closure notice to be issued on Woodlands next Tuesday.

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