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Isle of Wight care home closure blamed on rising costs and falling fees

Polars residential care home in Newport is set to close. Picture by Chris Cornford.

Polars residential care home in Newport is set to close. Picture by Chris Cornford.

Emily Pearce

[email protected]

@IWCPEmily

Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 14:23

GOVERNMENT austerity cuts have led to the closure of a Newport care home, with the loss of 49 jobs.
Somerset Care said it was closing Polars, at Staplers Road, because it had been running at a loss for some time, partly due to low care fees paid by the Isle of Wight Council, living wage increases and building maintenance costs - with no signs of improvement.
At a time when the Island's care sector is under huge pressure, and elderly people cannot leave hospital because they have no care package in place, a Somerset Care spokeswoman said the company was working with the council to find new homes for Polars' 29 residents before it closes on September 12.
"We understand how upsetting this is for residents, families and staff and we are offering our full support at this difficult time. Closing a care home is absolutely the last resort and is something we never do without long and careful consideration," she said.
"A combination of factors led to this decision, including pressure on income due to low council fee rates, rising costs due to increases in national living wage, pensions, and high costs of maintaining an old building which is no longer fit for purpose."
Polars lost £170,000 last year.
It costs £745 a week to care for each resident, but Somerset Care said it only received an average of £557 from the council
The spokeswoman said: "Somerset Care is a not-for-profit company with no shareholders. Any surplus is reinvested in the business. Unfortunately we cannot sustain loss-making services without jeopardising the viability of the whole company.
"We will support staff at risk of redundancy to find new jobs, with help from the Department of Work and Pensions and the unions."
The building will be put up for sale.
For more on this story, please see the Isle of Wight County Press tomorrow, Friday, June 16.

 


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