Harlesden care home to close saying it is ‘no longer viable’

Craven Park Care Home. Picture: Google

Craven Park Care Home. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

A struggling care home that has operated in Harlesden for 20 years will close at the end of the month.

Craven Park Care Home, in Craven Park Road, said spiralling costs had made it financially unviable to stay open.

This week the Care Quality Commission has also rated the private care home, owned by GSG Nursing Homes Ltd, as “requires improvement” – but bosses say it cannot afford to continue, meaning the point is somewhat moot.

Forty staff are losing their jobs and patients at the 26-bed home are being found alternative accommodation.

Spokesperson Janet Gilbert said she was “heartbroken”, adding: “We’ve been running over 20 years on that site. We’re going the way of many small places – it’s financially just not viable.

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“We are not in an area that has lots of self-funders that can subsidise local authority patients. Even the self-funders are running out of funds and the local authority’s rates haven’t gone up.

“Rates have stayed the same for years. Our last increase was in 2016. The next year we were fine, the following year we began to suffer losses. This year we decided to bite the bullet.”

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She said the company ran on losses of £130,000 last year.

On top of that, it spent £60,000 on refurbishing the building, which was not complete.

“We were spending money on upgrading what we offer in the hope to get more self-funders. Places rely on the money they get from self-funders but we’ve not been able to get that.”

She added: “I feel very sorry for the staff. Some of them have been very loyal to us. More than half have been with us for more than two years; four or five people have been with us for 20 years. Those people – their lives are shattered. I hope they find work elsewhere.”

She said the changing nature of care had also brought challenges. “Years ago you got the elderly and infirm, some who were confused or mentally fragile. Today you get people who used to be in EMI [elderly mentally infirm] care. They can shout, swear or be aggressive. The level of needs has gone up.”

Brent’s adult social care boss Cllr Harbi Farah said the council had worked with Craven Park “to suggest how they could better manage the home within the finances available”. “Brent Council pays care home providers according to a framework of rates which is agreed across the West London Alliance,” he added. “Craven Park Care Home was unable to demonstrate to us why it needed an increase in its rates.”

But he did thank it for its work supporting the community.

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