The End of an Era

5th June 2017

Chaldon Rise has been providing care for adults with dementia and other mental illnesses, including learning disabilities since 1987, within the same family-run business Care Unlimited.

For the past couple of years we have been subsidising the care costs for the many of residents, maintaining the standard of care they deserve, with the hope that the various funding sources would meet the costs to deliver this level of care. Sadly, this was not able to fund the level of service and staffing that we believe is necessary, making the business model with the current client group no longer financially viable.

The Directors of Care Unlimited have reached the conclusion that sadly we need to close our operations on Friday 16th June 2017. The service will be fully de-registered and operations at this home will cease, regrettably with redundancies but redeployment of some staff where possible.

Residents and families have been supported, and some have already begun to move on to their new homes, whilst we work alongside relatives and local authorities to support onward placements. Our local Reigate and Banstead Social Services team, part of Surrey County Council, have been very supportive to our valued residents in assisting them to find new homes. We remain committed to keeping residents safe and well cared for with appropriate staffing until our final day of service, in accordance with CQC standards.

An action plan is being followed to address issues raised in our recent CQC inspection report, the very first in our company’s 34 year history not to make a GOOD rating, and all stemming from the staffing crisis and the overall lack of sufficient local authority care funding. We have however found some issues with the report and will be discussing these formerly with the CQC, following independent advice. Sadly Chaldon Rise now finds itself in the statistic that nearly 40% of cares homes inspected nationwide have failed to meet requirements for a GOOD standard in the last month. The overwhelming majority of relatives have been happy with the care that their loved one has received at Chaldon Rise, and are sad about the closure of the home. Currently our other services all have a GOOD rating.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff for all their hard work through challenging times within a sector that is in crisis surrounding funding and staffing - from the nursing and care team, to the ancillary staff including cooks, housekeeping, laundry, administration and management. In addition, we express our gratitude to all healthcare professionals, suppliers and relatives who have contributed to the greater community of Chaldon Rise, and its service over the years. This is an emotional time for all involved and sadly the end of an era.

Background to the Staffing Crisis

This staffing crisis is the culmination of multiple dynamics in the current labour market:
1. A lack of nurses entering the service. This is compounded by BREXIT and the introduction of an advanced English speaking course which many European countries are not yet geared up for. The cost of recruiting a nurse through a recruitment agent is in the region of £5000. The geographical location of the home also presents a challenge.
2. The huge growth in agencies does seem to have significantly affected the supply of both nurses and carers in the sector, and our recent subsequent reliance on them has significantly increased our costs of care, and can impact the consistency of care.
3. Local authority funding has not been able to keep up with the escalating staff costs and wages. The majority of our residents at Chaldon Rise are funded this way.

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