Care home clients given hours to find a home after ‘sudden closure’

Trinity Lodge Care Home, Spring Gardens, Edinburgh.  Pic: Ian Georgeson

Trinity Lodge Care Home, Spring Gardens, Edinburgh. Pic: Ian Georgeson

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SHOCKED families were given a matter of hours to find new accommodation for their elderly relatives after their care home was forced to close.

Bosses at cash-strapped Trinity Lodge Care Home, which taken over by administrators in September last year, initially gave relatives four weeks’ notice – but three days later they were told to move out immediately.

The decision was made after a fire-risk assessment discovered the Abbeyhill property had been operating without a satisfactory emergency evacuation plan.

Relatives were alerted on Thursday afternoon they had until that evening to get the 39 elderly residents into a new home. The Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership stepped in to make sure new homes were found.

At 1pm on Thursday, Deirdre Alexander was told to remove her mother Margaret by the end of the day.

She said: “We were told Trinity Lodge was deemed not fit for purpose. How come it was ok on Monday and Tuesday? And for the three years my mum was there previous to that?”

Residents were offered a room at Manor Grange care home in Corstorphine which Deirdre and her son Kyle Milner refused.

“There is no way the residents are going to be allowed to stay at Manor Grange,” she said.

“It is a luxury home which far outweighs the current cost of care at Trinity Lodge.

“The poor residents will just have to be moved again – shown luxury and then have it taken away again.

“It’s despicable. They don’t care about the lives of the people involved. It was chaos, complete upheaval.

“Residents were left sitting in corridors alone, having had their belongings packed into bin bags around them.

“A care worker said one resident had been bundled into a taxi while she was asleep only to wake up distressed, in a strange home in Morningside surrounded by nobody she knew.”

Families said they faced a battle to get their relatives into a nearby home.

Ms Alexander said: “I had to battle to get my mum into a home close to us. We visit every day and I wasn’t having her sent to the other side of town.”

Trinity Lodge suffered a financial collapse in 2015 – but remained open while a new buyer was sought.

However, joint administrators BDO LLP, were unable to complete a transfer.

James Stephen, from BDO, said: “It is with great regret that the difficult decision to close the home has been taken. As has been the case from the outset, residents’ welfare is our priority and it is with their interest in mind that this decision has been taken. Unfortunately, trading conditions have deteriorated further over the course of the last year despite excellent support from the city council and Care Inspectorate.”

An Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership spokesperson said: “BDO have intimated their intention to the Care Inspectorate to close the home. We have been working with them to identify a long term solution and put alternative arrangements in place.”