Consortium of doctors re-open former council care home

A former council care home has been re-opened after being bought by a consortium of North Staffordshire doctors.

However, St Michael’s Care Centre in Chell will no longer be specialising in rehabilitation for patients leaving hospital and needing a few extra weeks to recover – as had initially been planned.

Instead it has become a venue for long-stay patients and people needing respite care for short periods.

Only a handful of the homes 30 places have so far been snapped up in the first few days – but around 17 staff have been recruited of the 40 needed to run it when fully-occupied.

St Michael’s was closed last June to help Stoke-on-Trent City Council make savings of £883,000 a year.

It was then purchased in September for more than £600,000 – well over the £500,000 guide price. Six years ago the council spent £1.4 million to turn it into a rehabilitation centre for patients discharged from the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.

Manager Lesley Kokai, aged 50, said: “Like me, many of the new staff used to work here when it was council-run and are looking forward to caring for the residents.

“The NHS felt there was already enough capacity for rehabilitation.”