Four Seasons Health Care is to close Edenmore Care Home in Jordanstown amid concerns that the historic building is no longer fit for purpose.
The home, which has a capacity of 41, currently has 27 residents being cared for by 47 staff.
A spokesman for Four Seasons said the company had taken the closure decision “reluctantly”, but stressed that the former hotel, built in the late 1800s as a family home for wealthy solicitor James Torrens, is “no longer a suitable environment in which to provide nursing care to modern standards.”
“In reaching this decision we have consulted with the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust and we will work with them to support residents and their families to relocate to suitable alternative accommodation.
“The home was converted from the former Edenmore Hotel, which was built around 1880 and the building is no longer a suitable environment in which to provide nursing care to modern standards and to meet the increased levels of dependency and complex needs of people who are supported to move into care homes.”
The company has stressed that no definite date has yet been set for the closure.
“The pace of the closure programme will be determined by our ability to resettle residents from the home and we will not rush the process,” the spokesman continued.
It’s understood that residents will be offered a choice of accommodation in other nearby Four Seasons’ nursing homes - at Abbeylands, Jordanstown and Whiteabbey.
“The wellbeing of the people in our care is paramount throughout this transition process. We will work with families and the RQIA and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust to ensure continuity of clinical care and minimise disruption to their routines as residents transfer to their new care home,” the spokesman added.
“Residents and their families will not be limited to a choice of our homes and will be free to select from all available accommodation in the region. This process will not be rushed; residents and their families will be given ample time to choose suitable alternative accommodation.”
The company hasn’t ruled out the possibility of some redundancies, but said that staff will have the opportunity to apply for vacancies in its other homes.
“We are seeking to redeploy staff from Edenmore Care Home to other Four Seasons Health Care homes in the immediate localities adjacent to Edenmore.
“Some staff, we anticipate, will seek to avail of a voluntary redundancy option,” the spokesman concluded.
Staff, residents and their families met with Four Seasons management on Tuesday evening, July 1, to discuss their options.
Meanwhile, planning permission was granted last year for the demolition of Edenmore House - a decision which angered those with an interest in preserving the borough’s architectural heritage.
However, Four Seasons says it has “no plans to develop the site and will eventually look to sell the building.”