Daventry care home 'not fit for purpose' to close after vote by county councillors

The Evelyn Wright Care Home is on Badby Road in Daventry
The Evelyn Wright Care Home is on Badby Road in Daventry

A Daventry care home will be closed after county councillors agreed to shut its doors in a meeting yesterday afternoon.

Users of the Evelyn Wright Care Home will now be transferred to new accommodation after members of Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet sanctioned its closure following a consultation, with the building soon to be deemed surplus to requirements.

Cabinet member for adult social services, Councillor Ian Morris, said yesterday (January 14): “In many ways, the home is not fit for purpose. While moving people out is not always ideal, when a place needs a lot of work and money spent on it to bring it up to standard, we would end up having to move the customers out to do any refurbishment.

“We have consulted with all the people in the home and given them a lot of options. Some have already moved and the remainder will move over the next few months. This has been a very cautious process in this but we feel it’s the right process to take.”

The 29-bed home on Badby Road cared for older people over 60 who have a physical disability or dementia. Bringing the home up to the required standards would have cost the authority £800,000.

Labour councillor Danielle Stone questioned why the building had fallen into such disrepair. She said: “Reading the report it was absolutely obvious that it was going to have to close. But the question I asked at a previous meeting, which I didn’t get a reply to, was why it had been allowed to deteriorate to the extent that it has. I’m really worried about that. It should mean that we should undertake a review of all our similar assets to ensure that we are keeping up the right kind of standards. In a way it’s unacceptable. It’s also the loss of beds when we are already short in the county.”

An inspection carried out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last April, which was published in June, found that the service at the home 'requires improvement’. Although inspectors praised staff, and found that the service was rated ‘good’ in terms of being effective and caring, the state of the building helped contribute to the overall result.

An assessment by the council showed that the roof required ‘substantial work’ to be carried out; the windows are in a poor state of repair and need to be replaced; six bedrooms on the first floor can’t currently be used due to a lift being out of action and ‘beyond repair’; and floor replacements are required in several areas.

Councillor Morris added: “It’s been ongoing with the residents for some considerable time and the options they go to will, I would hope, provide a higher level of care given the fact that this building was not in a great state, with some of the rooms uninhabitable as I understand it. So I think they will be going to better care homes.”

Feedback from the consultation included comments that some residents have already relocated from another local care home which had closed, The Grange, and were now facing moving again. 95 per cent of those who responded said that moving would have a ‘significant impact’ on their lives.

Anna Earnshaw, the council’s head of adult social services, said that despite the closure, the Daventry area would have enough care home provision to meet demand for the next four years.

She said: “In the Daventry area we have one care home opening this year, not a council one, with 50 spaces, a second is in planning permission and one extra large care scheme is opening within the vicinity. So as it stands at the moment until 2024 we have got enough spaces to meet all the projected needs and there are plans afoot to do more after that.

“In terms of the decline, we had been talking to a developer who was going to buy it, decant people, refurbish it and bring the customers back. They pulled out as it was uneconomic. For a year we had hoped that it was the resolution. It wasn’t that we let it decline, we had an active plan but it was pulled at the last minute.”