Concerns as charity decides to shut care home this year

thisisoxfordshire: Jack Howarth House in East Oxford Jack Howarth House in East Oxford

A CARE home in East Oxford is to close this summer after the charity that runs it said it was unable to recruit “suitable staff”.

Disability charity Scope had planned to close Jack Howarth House, in Hill Top Road, in 2016 because it is out of date.

But it has now said the care home – for those with profound and multiple impairments – has been short-staffed since last year when several people left.

After failing to recruit replacements, the charity has decided to bring the closure forward.

It is home to six people and Scope said that families had been informed and would be consulted.

Southern regional director Jayne Kilgallen said: “The current staff team are doing a great job, but the service has been short-staffed since several people left last summer.

“We have been unable to recruit staff with the right skills and knowledge, and have been using agency staff to cover the service. It has also needed a lot of senior management time.

“As a charity, we cannot afford to continue losing a significant amount of money running a statutory service. These are exceptional circumstances, which have sadly left us no choice but to propose to close Jack Howarth House by the end of July.

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“We know this news will cause concern for residents and their families.

“We will consult everyone involved and if the decision is to close the service, then we will give residents the best support possible, working with their local authorities, to move on to alternative places to live that meets their needs.”

Scope originally decided to close the care home because it said such facilities were “old-fashioned”.

Ms Kilgallen said: “Disabled people increasingly want services which give them more choice and control about who they live with, where they live and what they do with their day, and we don’t believe this service can do that.”

County council spokesman Marcus Mabberley said: “We were made aware of this new closure date by a family member of a service user, rather than by Scope.

“The county council has made its concern about the speed of closure known to Scope and will be working with the relevant family to source a new alternative placement.”

Comments (1)

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9:06am Fri 21 Mar 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

It always seemed to be an odd place to have a care home for people with "profound and multiple impairments".

It's at the far end of a road with limited access for wider vehicles, poor pavements (none of which are wheelchair suitable) and at the top of the hilliest location in Oxford (Hill Top Road being a clue here).

Let's hope another organisation is able to find a better location in Oxford, provide accommodation with a modern design for more independent living and terms & atmosphere that aid the retention of quality staff.
It always seemed to be an odd place to have a care home for people with "profound and multiple impairments". It's at the far end of a road with limited access for wider vehicles, poor pavements (none of which are wheelchair suitable) and at the top of the hilliest location in Oxford (Hill Top Road being a clue here). Let's hope another organisation is able to find a better location in Oxford, provide accommodation with a modern design for more independent living and terms & atmosphere that aid the retention of quality staff. Andrew:Oxford
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