Four Norwich care homes could be shut

The Bowthorpe Care Village under construction. If four Norwich care homes are shut, the residents wi

The Bowthorpe Care Village under construction. If four Norwich care homes are shut, the residents will be invited to be among the first to move in once it is completed. Picture: SUBMITTED

Four Norwich care homes could be closed down, with 150 residents, including more than 70 with dementia, asked if they want to move to a new £18.9m 'care village' on the edge of the city.

Residents, family members and staff at the residential homes, where the average age of residents is 85, were told yesterday afternoon consultation was to begin over potentially shutting the care homes.

Bosses say the homes - Heathfield, Mountfield, Somerley and Philadelphia House - all date back to the 1970s and their age means they are not up to standards.

NorseCare, which runs the homes and is owned by Norfolk County Council, says its preferred option is to shut those homes and to transfer people to the 'care village' which is being built at the Three Score site in Bowthorpe or to other care homes or housing with care schemes.

That development, due to open in the middle of next year, includes a specialist 80-bed dementia care home, a housing with care scheme with 92 apartments and a 'village hub' including a shop, cafe, restaurant and hairdressers.

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Karen Knight, managing director of NorseCare said the current homes did not have en-suite bathrooms and the size of the bedrooms made it difficult to use specialist moving and handling equipment.

Ms Knight said: 'These are people's homes and we recognise that the prospect of potentially moving out of them may be daunting.

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'We want to reassure our residents, and their families and carers, that we will support them and listen to their concerns through the consultation.

'I hope they understand we are suggesting these changes to provide better care accommodation for people in Norfolk, now and in the future.'

But bosses insist no decisions will be taken until the end of the 12-week consultation.

They say other options are to do nothing, to admit no more residents and allow them to shut over a number of years, or to sell them to another care provider.

Once consultation finishes on August 28, the responses will be considered before a proposal is put to county councillors. If the proposal is to shut the homes and it is agreed, then the earliest any would close is the middle of next year.

• Do you live in one of the care homes or are you a family member of somebody who does? Let us know what you think of the possible closure by emailing or call 01603 772375.

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