Bexhill care home to close

Directors of a Bexhill care home have taken the ‘difficult decision’ to permanently close – citing an inability to retain quality nurses.

Andrew Dollard (second from right), the registered manager at the Bexhill Care Centre, with staff members
Andrew Dollard (second from right), the registered manager at the Bexhill Care Centre, with staff members

Bexhill Care Centre, which provides nursing care for up to 40 people in Barnhorn Road, will close on Wednesday, July 31.

The decision was made at the start of this month after directors were unable to keep their staff from leaving to join better-paid nursing agencies.

Siva Sivakumar, a director at the Bexhill Care Centre, said: “The unavailability of good quality nurses who can take on extra responsibilities has been a main reason for the closure.

“We’ve taken on staff members who, after a month, have left to join an agency. The agencies can pay them more than we can.

“The problem is it’s very difficult to attract permanent staff and that has been a persistent problem with this home for a long time.”

Registered manager Andrew Dollard, who joined Bexhill Care Centre in October, said the care home undertook a ‘major recruitment drive’ six weeks ago in which they sent out 36 interview letters.

Just two people turned up, according to Mr Dollard.

With a little over five weeks until the care home – which was given a requires improvement rating at its last inspection in December – closes, 17 permanent members of staff remain.

Mr Dollard, who will remain at the care home until it closes, said: “It’s been a difficult decision for (the directors) to make.

“The families and directors have held us in high-esteem but we have had staff leave and staff just not come back.

“It’s disappointing for me as I’ve only been here seven months but the directors are unable to finance it anymore. They made a decision to close it and that’s pretty much it.”

Mr Dollard said the care home has managed to reduce the number of patients down from 34 to 24 and expects to be at 21 by Wednesday.

He said his team is working with social services to ensure remaining patients are in their new residency by July 31.

Paying tribute to his staff, Mr Dollard added: “I think it’s very sad. I have loved being at this home. I have loved running it.

“I think my staff will be here to the end. I am absolutely proud of the team. What says care to me is the fact they stayed.”

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