Cashflow woes close rest home
New Plymouth is overbedded for rest-home careKIRSTY MCMURRAY
Empty beds and empty coffers will see New Plymouth's Carrington Rest Home close at the end of the month.
The closure means 15 residents will have to find new homes and 16 staff may be back on the job market unless they are offered jobs at other associated facilities.
Owners Beta Pacifica Ltd yesterday announced the rest home would shut because of a declining number of residents and a lack of funds.
"The fact remains that New Plymouth is overbedded for rest-home care and older homes such as Carrington inevitably become a casualty. We would expect to see other older homes take similar action in the short term," spokesman David Renwick said.
With no new residents, the rest home had been rapidly losing money.
"The owners and shareholders have been propping it up for the last three or four months to an increasing extent," he said.
Mr Renwick said while the closure was disappointing, the focus was now on resettling the residents.
"The residents are the ones we have a great deal of concern for. They're upset, there's some people who have been here for a long time.
"But at the same time they've shown some resolve to keep together and move together. They do develop a strong rapport with each other, and we will try and keep them in groups," he said.
Mr Renwick said Beta Pacifica had an affiliation with Rhapsody Rest Home and Brooklands Rest Home and would attempt to find homes for residents and transfer staff where jobs were available.
"Priority is ensuring that residents are safely placed in appropriate care and that staff are supported in seeking alternative employment."
Closing had been on the cards for a while, but the decision to shut had been made two weeks ago after the owners visited New Plymouth, Mr Renwick said.
"It's been a possibility. I guess we would have liked to have had some more residents but people obviously have a choice where they go and they've chosen other locations for varying reasons," he said.
Mr Renwick said even renovations to the ageing rest home had failed to attract new residents.
"We spent a lot of money doing it up when we took over two or three years ago. It was in quite a bad state and while the residents plateaued for a while they never increased materially," he said.
Mr Renwick said after the rest home closes the company would investigate alternative uses for the land and building.
Yesterday, the home's manager declined to comment.
Carrington Rest Home has a contract with Taranaki District Health Board and yesterday TDHB acting general manager planning and funding Vicki Kershaw said they would be meeting with Beta Pacifica today.
"We want to reassure residents and their families that options will be discussed with them and their care is the priority to Taranaki DHB," she said.
Carrington Rest Home isn't alone in its troubles. Last month 30 staff and 24 residents from the Ngahuru home in Hawera learned from Presbyterian Support Central management that significant operating losses were proving too much to keep the doors open.
But protests from staff and residents and interest from two South Taranaki iwi may yet prevent the closure.
Hawera's two other rest homes have only 17 beds available.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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