Kettering care home set for closure

Dove Court Care Home.
Dove Court Care Home.

A Kettering care home is set to close, leaving 48 residents needing to find alternative accommodation.

Dove Court Care Home in Albert Street has been struggling to remain viable, according to operators Four Seasons Health Care.

The health service provider says it has struggled to recruit and retain nurses but will continue to provide care during the transition period.

Marjorie Condacos, regional managing director for Four Seasons Health Care, said: “The proposal to cease operating the home has not been arrived at easily, but we think it is unavoidable based on a combination of factors.

“There are 48 people in the home being cared for by 68 staff.

“For some time, it has been at well below its capacity of 58 residents and so it has been struggling to remain viable.

“There have been difficulties in recruiting and retaining nurses and carers with the right level of skills, which has necessitated a high use of temporary agency staff and resulted in challenges to maintain care quality to the standards that we expect all of our homes to provide.

“The company is beginning a consultation process with the care team about the proposed closure.

“The wellbeing of residents is our priority and we will work closely with Northamptonshire County Council’s social services team to ensure that the residents and their families are supported to find suitable alternative placements.

“We hope they will choose another of our homes in the area, although it is entirely their choice.

“Dove Court will continue to provide care while we allow plenty of time for the most appropriate arrangements to be made for all residents and we will do everything we can to ensure there is no disruption to their care during the transition.”

Ms Condacos added that staff who work there will be able to apply for role at other care homes owned by Four Seasons.

She said: “We will also consider applications for staff to transfer to our other homes, subject to there being suitable vacancies.

“In common with other leading care providers Four Seasons Health Care reviews its portfolio of care homes throughout the UK, with consideration of changing market conditions, including patterns of demand, and their operational performance.

“The proposed closure of any home is not something we take lightly but we have to focus on homes that are capable of operating successfully to deliver high standards of care for the longer term.”

According to an article in the Financial Times last year, Four Seasons Health Care closed 51 care homes in 18 months.

The son of one woman who is currently at the care home, who did not wish to be named, said he has been unable to find alternative care.

He said: “I’ve tried four care homes but they’re not taking anyone at the minute.

“We’ve been reassured that they’ll carry on looking after residents until everyone is somewhere but where will they all go?

“Are people going to have to be shipped off to Rushden or Northampton?

“My mum has been there for two years and one man has lived there for 10 years.

“It’s a lot of upheaval for them.”

Another relative, who also did not want to be named, said it was a ‘terrible situation’ and would be detrimental to the health of those who live there.

A Northamptonshire County Council spokesman said: “We are aware of the decision taken by Four Seasons Health Care to close Dove Court and we will be working closely with the provider and the residents and their families to help identify alternative suitable provision for the residents.”