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Locals demand public inquiry into sudden care home evacuation

SHOCKED locals are demanding a public inquiry after 28 dementia-stricken patients were removed from a care home in a fleet of ambulances without warning.

The vulnerable residents of privately owned Warneford House were whisked away earlier this month and forced to seek alternative accommodation at just a few hours’ notice after Doncaster Council shut down the facility over safety concerns.

The home is run by profiteering care provider UK Medi-Care Associates Ltd. Though apparently in good repair, it was under assessment by the council and local clinical commissioning groups over concerns raised by families about standards of care.

Forty-five staff face losing their jobs.

GMB organiser Rachel Dix said: “GMB is demanding a public inquiry into this scandalous situation.

“We knew Doncaster Council was asking for improvements but we were assured by the company, and staff were of the belief, that those improvements were well under way.”

Doncaster Council ordered the evacuation on August 2.

Ms Dix said: “To turf 28 people out of their homes, and give 45 dedicated staff the sack with no notice is nothing short of disgusting.”

Doncaster North Labour MP Ed Miliband said: “I am aware of the decision by Doncaster Council to close Warneford House care home due to their concerns over quality and standard of care.

“I have written to the chief executive officer of Doncaster Council asking for more information on behalf of my constituents. GMB contacted my office today.”

The council said the decision to close the home was made with the clinical commissioning group and that residents should be transferred immediately to alternative homes.

It said the decision was made in response to concerns raised by family members and workers about the lack of management and inadequate standards of care. No details have been given of the problems.

UK Medi-Care Associates could not be contacted for comment.

Though a private care home, 80 per cent of Warneford House residents are understood to be funded by the council.

The home has changed hands several times in recent years, moving from one private provider to another. It was once part of the giant Southern Cross group, which had 270 homes until the company collapsed into insolvency in 2011. It was taken over by its current owners in 2017.

Ms Dix said that today the care sector “is in absolute crisis,” adding: “There should not be private care homes and private care provision.

“It worries me how homes can change hands so quickly. Job transfers from one company to the next are rife across the sector.”

She said that the union does work co-operatively with “more progressive” private care providers.

Ms Dix attended a meeting yesterday with 45 care workers facing redundancy.

She told the Morning Star that the meeting was very moving as the workers were clearly very concerned about their patients.

She said: “It taught me the nature of what care workers are, of how committed they are to the people they care for.

“Sadly a number of them have said they would never work in care again because of the turmoil, having to stand by as the residents were dragged out.”


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