Highly-rated Northamptonshire care home under threat

A care home in Wellingborough could be closed, despite being rated highly. Hemmingwell Lodge, which is rated as ‘good’ by the Care Quality Commission, could be shut as part of a plan for the future of care in the county.

The home, in Nest Farm Road, is one of 10 older people’s care homes owned by Northamptonshire County
Council which have had their future put in doubt by the local authority.

The other homes are in Daventry, Brixworth, Northampton and Towcester, and the 10 homes provide places for 399 people in total.

Seven of the them are rated excellent and three – including Hemmingwell Lodge – are rated as good.

But a spokesman for the county council said: “The age and design of the buildings means that, in general, the facilities are average, with some homes having rooms below the 12 sq m minimum required by new homes and none have en suite facilities.

“It is estimated that to maintain the homes at the current standard would cost more than £1m over the next two years; this figure does not include any work to improve the homes.”

The spokesman said that even with this £1m investment over two years, the care homes were “not currently fit for future use”.

Cabinet member with responsibility for health and adult social services Councillor Robin Brown said: “No decision as to the future of these care homes has been made yet but it is clear that although these care homes are well-managed and offer a good standard of care, their facilities are not currently suitable for the future care of older people in the county.

“We really want to hear people’s thoughts about what action we should take and I will personally be visiting each of the care homes, to see the homes myself and to make sure the comments and feedback of those people directly affected are properly considered in the consultation.”

The county council’s cabinet will look at the matter at a meeting on Tuesday.

If a cabinet report is agreed, a full 13-week consultation will be carried out, and its findings will be used as the basis of an agreed plan for the future of the 10 homes.

The cabinet will look at six options, which include retaining all of the homes except Hemmingwell Lodge and selling the homes on as a going concern.