CONCERN has been expressed over the potential closure of a care home in Frome.

Somerset Care has recently announced it is launching a consultation into the proposed closure of two of their residential homes in April this year, with Critchell Court Residential Care Home, in Frome, in the firing line.

Somerset Care has engaged with Somerset Council, the care commissioner and landlord of both properties, trade union UNISON and the Care Quality Commission about this proposal.

They said in a join statement: “We will do everything possible to support all impacted residents and colleagues during this period of consultation.”

The company says the homes are unable to keep up with modern and complex care requirements as they purpose-built for care and living standards in the 1970s.

The Frome home is “no longer financially viable, environmentally sustainable or fit to safely meet the care needs of the future”.

The statement continued: “We are truly sorry that we have been left with no alternative but to propose the closure of these care homes. As a not-for-profit care provider without any shareholders, any income generated is reinvested into the care services we provide.

“We must do the right thing and make future-proof financial decisions so that we can keep our long-term commitment to support the people of Somerset with the care they need to live the life they choose.”

Somerset Care is liaising with the Somerset Council Adult Social Care Team to assess the individual needs of all residents at the two homes at risk of closure.

The company have confirmed that jobs in Frome are at risk of redundancy, though the consultation will consider whether staff members can be redeployed into roles at other homes.

Martin Dimery, Somerset Councillor for Frome West Green Party, said in a statement: “It was with great concern that I was informed that Critchill Court Residential Care Home in Frome is to be closed. 

“As the Somerset Ward Councillor I was not given any prior warning due to the ‘commercial sensitivity’ of this decision. I have expressed my dismay that councillors are not to be trusted with information of this kind. Somerset Council is responsible for the placement of care home residents and the quality of the care provided, but the privatisation of the service means the council cannot prevent the closure of the home.  

“I have every sympathy with those affected by this decision. My mother recently passed away whilst in residential care. I can only imagine the anxiety it would have caused her, our nearby family, and the staff, if given notice that she was to be moved to another home, not of her choosing.”

“Critchill Court could, in theory, be taken over by another provider. As yet, I have no information as to what may happen to the building. I have asked to be kept informed of any further developments.” 

Somerset Care confirmed it met with colleagues, residents and their families at the two-care homes affected to share the news with them in person.