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Dementia care home in Finsbury Park faces axe

Tribune understands that some residents and staff ­members are reluctant to move to privately-run facility

09 March, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Stacey Street Nursing Home in Finsbury Park

A DEMENTIA care home run by the NHS looks set to close with residents moved to a ­privately-run facility half a mile away.

Residents and staff at the Stacey Street Nursing Home, in Finsbury Park, were told last week that the 19-bed facility is set to shut.

They have been given the option of going to St Annes Care Home, run by Forest Healthcare Limited. The Tribune understands that some residents and staff ­members are reluctant to move.

Stacey Street was rated “good” by inspectors two years ago with staff described as “caring”. Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission also noted that the facilities were clean and the residents seemed happy.

But Islington health chief Councillor Janet Burgess said she welcomed the closure and said residents would be better cared for at St Anne’s where planning permission to build 15 ensuite bedrooms was approved two years ago.

“The current building [at Stacey Street] is not fit for purpose in the modern age. It’s a strange building with small bedrooms which are not en-suite,” she said.

Asked whether the closure was a result of government cuts to the NHS and whether the council should seek to build more facilities for elderly residents instead of closing them, Cllr Burgess said that the closure of Stacey Street was the correct option in this case.

“The whole social care system is grossly underfunded,” she said. “It’s extremely worrying what’s happening. In this particular case, Stacey Street couldn’t be upgraded with however much money we spent. I think this move is an upgrade [for residents].”

She added: “We certainly should be building more homes but we also recognise that some homes were built many years ago when standards weren’t so high.”

Islington Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – the NHS body which plans and buys healthcare for the borough – said the closure at Stacey Street would provide savings of between £200,000 and £475,000 a year.

A spokesman for the CCG said: “The building at Stacey Street is not fit for purpose and lacks basic facilities residents expect such as en-suite bathrooms and toilets.

“We’re considering moving residents to a purpose-built nursing home, which is run by a specialist nursing care provider, with a track record in providing high-quality care, just half a mile away. Residents would enjoy the latest modern facilities including a beauty salon and barber, library, a reading room and garden.

“Also, Stacey Street is running at a loss and is significantly more expensive than similar services with better facilities.

“We are duty-bound to ensure tight NHS resources are spent ­wisely for the benefit of all the residents of ­Islington. We are talking to residents and their families first, so we can consider their views and the impact any changes would have on them before making any ­decision.”

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