Elderly residents face ‘major upheaval’ with closure of ‘inadequate’ care home in High Kelling

Pine Heath care home in High Kelling is closing. Picture: Archant

Pine Heath care home in High Kelling is closing. Picture: Archant

Twenty-three residents at a north Norfolk care home, which was placed in special measures after being rated inadequate, have just days to find alternative accommodation after it unexpectedly announced it was closing.

Pine Heath care home in High Kelling is closing: Picture: ArchantPine Heath care home in High Kelling is closing: Picture: Archant

The decision by the directors of Pine Heath in High Kelling, near Holt, comes just months after its failings were highlighted in a damning report by the Care Quality Commission.

Among the complaints raised in November last year were a failure to heat residents’ rooms and provide hot water, rooms smelling of urine and residents not being given the help they needed to eat their food.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said the care home’s directors blamed “a combination of reasons” for its decision to close the home by the end of May.

However, the local authority confirmed all families of the residents have been informed.

A council spokesman said: “Norfolk County Council understands the anxiety that this closure may cause to residents and their families and is working with the owners of the care home to ensure that support to residents remains in place while suitable alternative accommodation is found.

“This will be done as quickly as possible but always with the safety of individual residents paramount. At no point will anyone be left without the appropriate level of care.”

A police investigation was launched earlier this year following the death of a resident in her 90s. A spokesman confirmed that the case was now closed and that no action had been taken.

David Holmes revealed he has removed his father Arthur, 95, from the home and he is now being cared for at Clarence House in Mundesley. However, he warned a shortage of places may make it difficult for others to find alternative accommodation close by.

Mr Holmes said: “All 23 residents have to be found alternative accommodation at other care homes, at a time when there are very few places available locally. These elderly residents are already frail and confused and have chronic long-term illnesses, so this a major upheaval.”

NHS North Norfolk CCG said it was aware of the situation. No-one at the home was available for comment as we went to press.

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