Care home bosses have questions to answer - East Devon MP weighs in on Shandford closure
PUBLISHED: 17:00 03 February 2020
East Devon MP Simon Jupp has questioned the 'hugely regrettable' decision to close a Budleigh Salterton care home.
He has written to care home bosses questioning them over the decision to close Abbeyfield Shandford, in Station Road.
The Abbeyfield Society last week announced the care home will be closing at the end of March.
The society said keeping the home open was no longer viable due to 'the systematic recruitment challenges' and 'significant' renovation work needed.
In a letter to Abbeyfield chief executive David McCullough, seen by the Journal, Mr Jupp has asked for the financial assessment of the works to be published and queried whether money from wills of former residents could be used to fund repairs.
He also asked if staff have been asked to sign non-disclosure agreements - sometimes known as gagging orders.
Mr Jupp questioned when Abbeyfield will know to which care homes residents will be transferred and what steps will be taken to guarantee their safety and security.
In response, the Abbeyfield Society said no staff have been asked to sign a gagging order and more than £1.7 million - including legacies from wills - has been spent on renovations over the last eight years.
The society also said it will provide residential care or housing and financial help towards the elderly in Budleigh and the surrounding villages.
Mr Jupp said: "It's hugely regrettable that Abbeyfield Shandford is closing and I want to find out more details.
"What we have got is the issue of people being moved when it is extremely stressful and affects their health.
"It's less about the building and more about the people.
"Elderly people moving care homes can be extremely damaging to their mental health."
A spokesman for the Abbeyfield Society said: "We welcome Mr Jupp's offer to meet with The Abbeyfield Society to discuss his concerns and are in the process of reaching out to his office to set up a meeting.
"Our top priority remains the safety and wellbeing of residents and we are working closely with the local authority to ensure everyone is found suitable new homes which meet their individual care needs."