Shocked staff demand answers after care home shut down

Oxford Grange Care Home,Oxford Road, Dewsbury.
Oxford Grange Care Home,Oxford Road, Dewsbury.

Nursing staff at a Dewsbury care home have demanded answers after it was suddenly shut down at the end of last week.

Elderly and sick residents at Oxford Grange Care Home were hurriedly moved out on Thursday and Friday, just days after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) broke the news of its closure to the proprietor and staff.

It has emerged that one elderly lady, who was receiving palliative care at the time of the move, was transported to another home by ambulance on Friday morning and died just hours later.

Another resident, who had dementia, had to be sedated by those clearing the building after she became distressed at the prospect of being moved, it has been claimed.

The CQC confirmed that tenants at the home on Oxford Road were to be relocated after “significant concerns” over the home were raised.

However, staff have been left aghast by the speed at which the home was shut, and insist they have no idea why such action was taken.

Care assistant Maggie Walker told the Reporter: “Inspectors came in on the Friday (May 22) and then they came back three days later and said that we were closing on the Friday after. Whatever it would have taken to stop this home from closing down we would have done it but they didn’t give us that chance. If they told us what needed to be done all of this could have been prevented.”

Team leader Nicola Heaps, who has worked at Oxford Grange for 12 years, said: “The CQC are supposed to do what’s in the best interests of all the residents. If they wanted to do that they should have given us a chance to do whatever needed to be done. But we didn’t know what needed to be done because they didn’t tell us!

“If all the families of the residents had wanted them to move we could have understood it, but we’ve not had one person say that they’re glad to be out. They’ve all cried as they were leaving.”

The home cared for 32 residents at the time of its closure, some as old as 95.

Debbie Westhead, CQC’s deputy chief inspector of adult social care in the North said: “We have significant concerns regarding standards of care at Oxford Grange and the home’s ability to meet people’s needs. We are considering the need for further enforcement action and will report on any action we do take in due course.

“We’re working closely with the local authority, Kirklees Council, who are supporting the safe relocation of all residents to alternative, appropriate homes in the local area.”

Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff said that the situation was “concerning”.

“I have been in regular contact with Kirklees Council over the last week to ensure that everything possible is being done to support the residents of Oxford Grange and their families, and to minimise the disruption caused by this closure,” she said.

“I will continue to monitor the situation closely and my office is open to anyone who requires further support at this difficult time.”