12 weeks for OAPs to find a new home

Elderly people living in a care home have been given just 12 weeks to move out after its owners decided to close it.

Sefton Park Care Home in Larkhall, Lanarkshire, will close in August after its London-based owner announced the facility was “no longer fit for purpose”.

The 35 residents now face a race against time to find new accommodation after Southern Cross Healthcare concluded repairs needed to the building would not be financially viable.

The move comes just three months after the home was named as one of 97 Scottish care homes deemed “weak or unsatisfactory” in a report by the Care Commission.

It said Sefton Park was “structurally unsound”. It also uncovered loose electrical wiring, a leaking roof and damaged fire doors.

In the wake of the report, the home’s staff were told bosses were trying to find money for a refurbishment and extension programme, but those plans were later shelved.

Michael Macintosh, regional director for Southern Cross, said: “We are disappointed to have to close the home because it has provided an excellent standard of care to our residents for many years.

“However, due to the state of the building, we have taken the tough decision to close the home.

“We are doing everything we can to ensure the move to their new homes will be as smooth a transition as possible.”

Larkhall councillor Lesley McDonald has urged South Lanarkshire Council to move fast to help re-home the residents.

She said: “What happens to residents now is a priority and the council will have to step in.”

A spokesman for Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland said: “We will work closely with Southern Cross and the council to ensure the wellbeing of residents at Sefton Park is not adversely affected and that suitable alternative accommodation is provided.”

A South Lanarkshire Council spokeswoman said: “The home hosted a meeting for residents’ families to discuss the proposal.

“A senior social work resources manager attended the meeting to offer support and reassurance to the families.

“Social work staff will now support residents and their families in securing alternative accommodation.”