Care home closure sparks outrage in Middleton

Date published: 30 May 2024

Local politicians have slammed a decision to shut down a care home with over a dozen residents given just weeks to move out.

Langfield Care Home is occupied by dozens of residents and provides residential and short respite care to the community. But this will be changed to provide a 20 bed “Reconnect” specialist dementia care service with effect from August 2024.

The proposed Reconnect service will provide a more holistic solution for residents living with dementia, through introducing environmental and care approach changes supported by specialist nurses and support workers, bosses say.

It means that some residents would have to be moved on to other accommodation, which local politicians have said they are ‘livid’ about.

A spokesperson for the Middleton Labour Group said: “It’s totally outrageous how the residents are being treated, especially with vulnerable residents being given such short notice. This shows a total failure in the privatisation of care homes and lack of protections put in place by the government for private residents.”

Councillor Phil Burke added the closure would have a massive impact on the community as well as the families of those affected. The Labour councillors claimed that 13 residents will be asked to move out, and will be served notice of 28 days to find an alternative home.

Orchard Care Homes, the company that runs the Wood Street site, said they have done extensive research and that a specialist dementia care service will be essential to the community.

“By adopting a new unit of Reconnect services, Langfield will be able to provide the local community with a more specialised, holistic solution for people living with Dementia, introducing additional environmental and care approach changes, supported by specialist Dementia Nurses and Dementia Support Workers,” a statement said.

“Unfortunately, these efforts do mean that the care services provided will no longer be suitable for some of the residents who already reside at Langfield Care Home.

“Orchard Care Homes is proud to provide care that residents and families value and, whilst moving to a new placement will ensure the best continuation of appropriate care, we understand that unexpected change can be upsetting and disappointing.

“We deeply care for the wellbeing of everyone who resides in our homes and we are working closely with those affected, local commissioners and social workers to ensure that the right placement, offering the most suitable care for each individual, is found.

“This includes currently holding a number of beds at other local Orchard Care Homes services for those with relevant care needs and who choose to remain in our care.”

Rochdale Council have said that they will step in to help any residents who need assistance in finding alternative care provision.

Nichola Thompson, Rochdale Borough Council’s director of adult social care, said: “Following Orchard Care Homes’ decision to change care provision at Langfield Care Home to a specialist dementia unit, we are working with other agencies to ensure our residents are provided with alternative care accommodation.

“We are in regular communication with residents, their families, carers and advocates to keep them informed, with the individual needs and wellbeing of our residents the priority.”

George Lythgoe, Local Democracy Reporter

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