Despite a national lockdown care home residents are being shuffled from one home to another.

Abbeyfield appear intent on moving two frail residents from Shandford on Monday to other care homes, despite the country being in lockdown.  

Owl has been deluged by local comment since this story appeared on-line a couple of days ago. This is Owl’s attempt at putting these in context.

The country is in a form of lockdown described as: stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives, allowing limited movement outside the home for essential purposes.

This week the most vulnerable were sent a letter instructing them to stay at home and not to move outside for any reason. These would have included the sort of vulnerable centenarians, resident in the Abbeyfield “Shandford” care home.

Yesterday, the national restrictions were further tightened when healthy people contracted to move house, even as soon as this weekend, were advised not to.

Despite this national emergency, Owl understands, Abbeyfield are intent in moving the frail and vulnerable out of Shandford to meet their self imposed deadline to close the home. Apparently, at least two are scheduled to leave on Monday. When the safety of this has been questioned the reply given by Devon County Council is that this is in accordance with “existing protocols” .

Owl finds this incomprehensible. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has breezed through “existing protocols” which is why we are facing an uncontrolled epidemic with infections doubling every three days. Covid-19 is spread by person to person contact. Shuffling people around is recklessly irresponsible, “existing protocols” must be torn up and common sense applied or our collective attempts at achieving control will fail.

To date Covid-19 restrictions appear to have kept Shandford open for longer than Abbeyfield intended. Owl understands that Shandford could have been saved. Amica Care Trust had made approaches to take over the home. Simon Jupp MP had tried to facilitate this.with no success. A local “Save our Shandford” organisation could have formed the nucleus of providing a local source of fundraising. An attempt at creating a Community Interest Company to take Shandford back into local control has been frustrated by Abbeyfield’s refusal to disclose details of the 2012 deed of transfer, when local control was ceded to Abbeyfield. 

Owl has been told all monies will be returned to the Town when the site is sold. So Owl is puzzled by why Abbeyfield appears intent on “realising the assets” at the start of an economic crash, rather than transfer it to Amica or back to local control as a going concern.

To Owl this appears a scorched earth policy.

Daniel Wilkins

A bid to rescue a much-loved Budleigh care home has come ‘too late’ to halt its closure.

Amica Care Trust, which runs a care home and an independent living facility in Exmouth, has confirmed it made a bid to take over the Shandford home which is set to close at the end of the month.

However, the Abbeyfield Society, which has run Shandford since 2012, said an offer from a third party was rejected as it came too close to their intended closure date.

The society also said halting the process would require Shandford to run with only a third of the beds filled.

The Station Road care home is set to close on Tuesday, March 31.

Keran Wilkinson, chief executive of Amica Care Trust, said: “We did reach out to Shandford with the view that we could offer a rescue plan but having met with the Abbeyfield Society it was not something they wanted to consider as they felt they were too far down the closure route.”

A spokesman for the Abbeyfield Society said: “Despite the lateness of this approach, the suggestions presented were carefully considered by the Abbeyfield senior leadership team but were unfortunately deemed unsuitable.

“This was largely due to the approach being made only two weeks before the home was due to complete its close and, as a result, two thirds of the residents had been found more suitable care placements elsewhere.”

The Abbeyfield Society said the few remaining residents were in the process of being found new homes so they came to the ‘difficult decision’ that it would be ‘inappropriate’ to halt the closure.

The spokesman continued: “Doing so would disrupt the process that was well under way with no guarantee of a different outcome, causing greater disruption and confusion to residents.

“Any halt in the process would also mean that Shandford would be required to run with only one third of the beds filled for a potentially lengthy time period, further reducing the financial stability of the home and causing significant financial pressure.”


2 thoughts on “Despite a national lockdown care home residents are being shuffled from one home to another.

  1. Abbeyfield has not mentioned that they were introduced to Amica Care by MP Simon Jupp in February of this year. From my understanding, Abbeyfield would not engage with Amica at that point, which would have given more time to consult.
    The question should be asked, how a huge charity supposedly committed to its residents, can be allowed to strip the life out of residential home in their care. If it’s not to make money, then why?
    Not viable? I don’t think so!


  2. Always thought that Abbeyfield was the top of their field;revising my thoughts now; I wonder what Abbeyfield founder would have thought.


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