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Care home to shut over staff shortage

News | Published:

OLDER islanders are being moved out of their home after a care provider had problems recruiting qualified staff.

Health & Social Care has stepped in to help transfer residents to new accommodation.

It was given notice by Blossom Fields Care Home in Forest, that it intends to close its services at the end of October, with residents there now in the process of being moved to other homes.

The home has 40 residential beds registered, 22 single and eight double rooms.

In a statement by Blossom Fields Care Home, a spokesperson said that it was with much regret that management had advised of the closure of the home on 31 October.

‘This has not been an easy decision to make,’ the statement read.

‘But along with the resignation of the care manager from her position and general difficulties in recruiting suitably qualified staff, which appears to be an island-wide problem, it has left us with no other option.

‘Our main focus is now to ensure that both our residents and staff are supported during this difficult time.’

An HSC spokesperson said social workers from the Adult Community Services were liaising with residents and Kerri Le Moigne – the care home manager.

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‘[They are currently working] to understand their specific needs and support individuals and their families to make a decision about their ongoing care with another provider,’ the spokesperson said.

‘[We] cannot comment on behalf of the provider as to the specific reasons it has taken this decision but will work with its management team to rehouse residents as quickly and sensitively as possible.’

The care home, which is privately owned, has a maximum availability of 40 residential beds for ages 55 years and over, with facilities and services covering physiotherapy and independent living training.

Service users will now be moved to other properties.

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A number of of local businesses in various fields have been struggling to recruit staff since the introduction of the population management law in April 2017. The law restricts the amount of time overseas employees can work in the island, while enabling the States to influence the size and make-up of the population to meet island long-term needs.

All individuals over 16 who live or work in Guernsey are required to hold a certificate or permit stating they can and qualifying reasons for a permit include strong connections to a person living in Guernsey or being invited to work because of an essential skill or qualification that Guernsey lacks.

It is unclear what has caused Blossom Fields recruitment issues and the company would not elaborate on its prepared statement.

The King’s Fund, an independent charity working to improve health and care in England, recently found that care homes suffered from relentless staff shortages, with four in 10 home care workers leaving their role every year.

They also said that care providers were competing with other sectors who paid higher wages, making it more difficult to entice potential employees, as this offered staff more stable employment and better working conditions.

There are currently a number of job vacancies on the States website for care home staff.

Danielle Kenneally

By Danielle Kenneally
News reporter

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