Families of elderly residents left 'devastated' after closure announcement of Salford care home

The home next door Holly Court will remain open.

The families of elderly and infirm residents living in a care home have been left 'devastated' following the announcement of its permanent closure.

The residents' next of kin have been informed that they will have to move out from Laburnum Court care home before it shuts in three months time.

The decision to close the home in Broughton in Salford will also lead to job losses for over 80 members of staff.

As a result, relatives of residents have launched petition to protest against the move by the owners of the home, Beltz Care Ltd.

The decision to shut Laburnum Court was announced by the director who sent a letter to the families on the Wednesday 29 November.

Rob Ballie said that issues such as financial stability and ‘ongoing viability of the home’ had been impacted upon by the cost of living crisis.

It read: "It is with regret that I have to inform you at this time of plans by investors of Laburnum Court to close the home permanently.“This decision has not been made lightly and we have over the past few months explored many different options for the home to allow it to gain financial sustainability now and in the future without success.”

The home, which provides care for people with high dependency needs including dementia, is set to close at the end of February or mid-March 2024.

The letter goes on: “We are consulting with external stakeholders about the current situation which includes social workers and commissioners and are making early preparations and plans in the best interests of all residents, to ensure a safe and smooth transition to another service provider.”

The petition launched to save the care home has received more than 600 signatures. Credit: Debbie Glynn

Debbie Glynn’s 84-year-old husband Ben has dementia and has been a resident of the elderly mentally infirm (EMI) in Laburnum Court for only a few months.Debbie, 61, said: “There are only a couple of nursing homes in Salford with those kinds of facilities, and they have no room for him. I have no idea what we’re going to do. This is absolutely devastating.“The staff at the home are absolutely brilliant, and they deliver exceptional care. I feel so sorry for them. Many of them have been there for more than 20 years.”Daughter Lauren, 30, added: “There are many people at the home undergoing end-of-life care. This is awful for them and their families.”She said that families were told the decision to close the home at a specially convened meeting last Tuesday 12 December.

Hilary McClean's mum Annie Lindsay died aged 89 only a few months ago. She was a resident at the home for four years. Ms McClean, 61, said: “We are all devastated by the news,” said Hilary. “I feel so sad for the relatives and the fantastic staff at Laburnum Court. The work they do with the residents in the EMI facility is fantastic.”

Hilary McClean's mother lived at the home for four years before her passing a few months ago.

The petition to save the care home has since received more than 600 signatures.It says: “Our loved ones, our friends, our family reside at Laburnum Court Care Home in Salford.“This is their last home, a place they have come to know and love. With dementia affecting many of them, familiarity is key – they recognise their building, the staff who care for them daily and even the food they eat.“The proposed closure of this facility by its owner threatens to disrupt this familiarity and stability.“According to Alzheimer’s Society UK, changes in living environment can cause increased confusion and worsen symptoms for those living with dementia (Alzheimer’s Society UK). It is crucial that we prevent such unnecessary distress for these vulnerable individuals.”

In a statement from Mr Baillie, who is now the operations director of Laburnum Court, said: “The investors who own the company, Belz Care Limited, have decided to close down the business Laburnum Court Nursing Home due to its lack of financial viability and continued loss-making month by month which is continuing to escalate.“This decision has not been made lightly and we have over the past few months have explored many different options for the home to allow it to gain financial sustainability now and in the future without success.”It continued: “There is a known vitality for services like Laburnum Court and the type of care and support being provided but unfortunately the social care sector has continued to be underfunded and with spiralling costs we are now in a situation across England where insolvencies have increased by more than 30 per cent so far in this financial year and Laburnum Court has become a victim of this circumstance.“We are consulting routinely with external stakeholders about the situation and are making joint preparations and plans in the best interests of all of our residents to ensure safe and successful transfers to other services within the locality and source suitable alternative employment for our entire staff team, some who we anticipate will move along with residents to their future homes.“We met with relatives and our staff last week along with local authority representatives to respond to questions and concerns they may have individually and collectively.“Currently the timeline for the final closure date is estimated to be sometime between the end of February or Mid-March 2024.”