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Towcester care home faces closure as West Northamptonshire Council launches consultation

A Northamptonshire care home is facing closure – after being significantly under-occupied in recent year. West Northamptonshire Council is inviting people to have their say on the future of the Ridgway House Care Home in Towester.

The home was built 40 years ago and the design of the building means that the facilities available within the home are unable to meet the needs of an increasing number of people who require residential care. WNC is looking to understand what the impact on residents and families would be if they began a safe closure programme for Ridgway House.

The home has 35 rooms but only a capacity of 25 due to the first floor no longer being accessible to people with care and support needs. There are no ensuite facilities and reduced accessibility for wheelchairs and hoists.

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There are currently 19 residents in the home who would have to be moved elsewhere if the option of closure is pursued. Concerns have been raised about the facility being shut down and locals who need residential care, saying that underinvestment is the cause of the home’s decline.

The Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for South Northamptonshire, Stewart Tolley, said: “Placing people in local private care homes as has been suggested might be fine whilst there are spaces, however, if there aren’t places available in future, elderly people in Towcester and surrounding villages, who are in need of residential care, would be forced to live many miles from their loved ones.”

In its last CQC inspection in November 2022 the home received a ‘requires improvement’ rating. Though the report recognised that residents were supported by kind and caring staff, it found that there were issues with oversight and management.

WNC has said that it is not possible for the home to be improved because of the scale of the work and the disruption that it would cause to residents whilst it was being carried out. A condition survey in 2020 highlighted that maintaining the home at a basic habitable standard would require a minimum investment of approximately £1 million over the next ten years.

Councillor Matt Golby, cabinet member for adult social care and public health at WNC, said: “We recognise that for those who reside at Ridgway House that this is their home, where they feel comfortable and supported. We are committed to ensuring that we deliver a high standard of care for all our residents.

“It is important that we can provide the right support for more complex health and social care needs and we know that we are seeing an increase in our older population, that this level of support is only going to increase.

“I therefore ask for residents at Ridgway and their loved ones to please take part in the consultation as it is vital to gain your thoughts on how we can provide the right care and support now and in future.”

West Northants Council recently announced the safe closure of another of their care homes, Boniface House, Brixworth, in September this year. The home was closed for similar reasons with under-occupation and failing facilities said to be no longer meeting the needs of residents.

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