Care provider announces second home closure due to ‘financial difficulties’

Essex operator Guide Total Care has announced its second care home closure citing “financial difficulties”.

Residents at the Guide at Sandon care home in Chelmsford have been given until October 12 to find alternative accommodation, Essex Live reported.

In a letter issued to residents, the care provider said the amount that local authorities and local clinical commissioning groups were paying the home was 30% below the true cost of care.

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The move comes in the wake Care England’s failed legal challenge over LA fee levels in Essex (see Legal challenge to care home fees fails).

The letter listed the reasons for the service’s closure as: rising resident care needs requiring higher staffing levels; the national shortage of nurses; rising staff costs due to increases in the National Minimum Wage and Auto Enrolment Pensions Contributions; and inflation affecting operating costs.

News of the closure came after Guide Total Care announced plans to shut its Guide at Broomfield service.

An Essex County Council spokesperson said: “On Wednesday 29 August 2018 Guide Total Care Group Ltd informed us and partners that their company was in financial difficulty. They notified us that Guide a Broomfield, a care home that they operate, would be closing.

“Following this, Guide Total Care Group Ltd recently advised us and partners that their other care home, Guide at Sandon, would also be closing. We have no control over the closure of either home.

“It is anticipated that all residents will be moved from Guide at Sandon within the next few weeks. We understand that this is a very short timeframe, however, despite our many efforts to agree with Guide Total Care a longer timescale, this has not been possible.

“As always, our priority is the wellbeing and safety of the residents. We will now work closely with the residents and their families and support them in moving to safe, suitable accommodation of their choice.

“Our dedicated employees are on hand to offer residents advice, support and guidance through what is understandably a difficult time.”

Total Guide Care declined to comment when contacted by CHP.

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