'Vulnerable' residents face eviction from West Yorkshire care home as costs rise

"Vulnerable" residents at a care home in West Yorkshire have been left with just weeks to find a new home after being handed eviction notices.

Nineteen families were told their elderly relatives would have to leave West Ridings Care Home in Outwood, near Wakefield, due to rising costs and staff shortages.

Julie Hart's 86-year-old mother Doreen has lived at the home for four years. She now has until 28 August to find a new place.

Ms Hart said: "She's been through enough already. She's survived the pandemic in care and now has to go through this.

"These are the most vulnerable people in our society who are being penalised for nothing more than the fact they're funded by the local authority.

"They have no choice and no voice. It's absolutely shocking."

The affected residents' places are partly paid for by local authority funding.

Advinia, which runs the care home, said it was having to make cuts because of "ongoing staffing and cost pressures" caused by a "lack of appropriate funding for the care sector".

Marie Hainsworth's mother is one of those reliant on local authority funding.

She said: "My feelings are she won't last that long because she can't take all this change.

"My mother dedicated her life to care and this is how she's repaid."

The company which the care home said it had been forced to make cuts because of funding problems. Credit: Google

Families say they are facing the prospect of huge costs to move their relatives to other providers.

Ms Hainsworth added: "They want £700 top up per week from relatives. I'm a pensioner - I can't afford to pay £700 every week."

Tom Fitzsimons' mother is in the same position. He said: "What's to say the next nursing home doesn't do the same and they become care home refugees, moving from one place to the next?"

In a statement, Advinia expressed "regret" at its decision to close one of its four units.

A spokesperson said: "The financial sustainability of the home has been challenged by the significantly increased energy costs due to the war in Ukraine, the fall-out from the pandemic and the low funding which local authorities receive from central government.

"This lack of funding, as well as difficulties in the recruitment market, have made it difficult to continue operate the home at its current size."

They added: "Tragically care home closures are now at an all-time high, due to the complete collapse in adequate local authority care funding. If this issue is not addressed, as a matter of urgency, many more families will be left struggling to find care for their loved ones."

The company said its decision was necessary to ensure the future of West Ridings Care Home.

Helen Wildbore, the director of Care Rights UK, said: "This is a crisis that has been bubbling for years and we urgently need the government, local authorities, care providers and the regulator to come together."

However, a government spokesperson said: "We are providing up to an addition £7.5 billion for social care over the next two years."

They added that £1.4 billion of that would help "reduce adult social care waiting times, increase workforce capacity and retention, as well as increase fee rates paid to adult social care providers".

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