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Thetford’s Priorsmead care home to close despite community campaign to save it

PUBLISHED: 08:35 02 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:51 02 November 2017

Thetford councillor Mike Brindle started a petition to secure the future of the Priorsmead care home. Picture: Terry Jermy

Thetford councillor Mike Brindle started a petition to secure the future of the Priorsmead care home. Picture: Terry Jermy

Archant

A care home is to close despite a community campaign to save it.

NorseCare said it understood the decision to shut Priorsmead residential care home in Thetford would be “difficult news” for many people but said: “It is important to note that the closure is no reflection on the quality of care provided to everyone living at Priorsmead.”

That came as little consolation to those who fought to keep it open, with councillor Mike Brindle - who organised a petition against the closure, which gained 1,000 names - saying: “I was surprised how strongly many people in Thetford felt that it should stay open.

“It has been highly thought of for decades. This will cause immense stress on elderly residents who when moved will lose familiar staff and friends.”

Mr Brindle now fears the site will be sold for redevelopment “at a time when the population is ageing and more, not less, care places are needed”.

A date for the closure of the Canterbury Way home, which was rated as “good” by the Care Quality Commission a couple of years ago, has not yet been decided but the closure has also been agreed by Norfolk County Council, which owns NorseCare.

Earlier in the year, the council cited a “particularly challenging financial environment” as the reason for proposing the closure.

Residents living there will now be assessed by Norfolk County Council’s adult social care team, with social workers working closely with residents and families to help them find the best alternative to meet their assessed needs.

NorseCare has pledged to work to make sure all residents and their families are given the support they need to move.

James Bullion, executive director of adult social services at Norfolk County Council, said: “Following careful consideration, we have agreed to NorseCare’s recommendation to close their Priorsmead care home.

“To ensure there is a smooth transition, we will be working closely with NorseCare to help residents and their families to fully meet their care needs.”

Karen Knight, managing director of NorseCare, said: “We recognise that the closure of Priorsmead is difficult news for people, and it is important to note that the closure is no reflection on the quality of care provided to everyone living at Priorsmead.

“We will work closely with the adult social care team and our staff to make sure all residents and their families are given all the support they need to achieve a positive move, with the minimum disruption.”

Once the property is decommissioned, NorseCare will implement a guardianship scheme to, not only provide a temporary housing solution but to minimise any likelihood of unsociable behaviour in and around the occupied building.

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