Edinburgh care home Lennox House takes 'difficult decision' to close over finance and staff concerns
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Staff at Lennox House in Trinity said they had taken the decision to close the home in Trinity following careful consideration over a long period of time. The home has rooms for 35 residents and cares for those with dementia as well as providing palliative and respite care.
Bosses said the decision to close was mainly due to difficulty in recruiting and retaining staff leading to increased cost for agency workers to plug the gap. The building on Lennox Row could also need work carried out which staff said is ‘not viable’.
It comes after a shake-up of care in council run homes in the Capital as providers from across the sector from public to private are hit hard by staffing issues. Under plans to tackle the crisis Drumbrae care home has been closed to be turned from a residential care home into a complex clinical care assessment centre.
Four other council care homes in the Capital – Fords Road, Clovenstone, Jewel House and Ferrylee –also proposed for closure but the plans are on hold until health chiefs can stabilise the staffing crisis, caused by covid and people leaving. All residents at Lennox House will be moved to another facility that provides similar care suitable for their needs bosses said but it’s not yet confirmed where or when this will take place.
In an email seen by the Evening News, senior staff said: "We have considered the decision about Lennox House very carefully and thoroughly as we are aware of the potential impact of this, particularly in relation to residents, their families and staff. I appreciate this is likely to be an unwelcome surprise and unexpected change and I am sorry for any upset or anxiety that this may cause those affected.
“The use of and spending on Agency staff have accelerated and, in the long term, significantly increases costs and this impacts on the financial viability of Lennox House. Another important financial consideration is the building is likely to require substantial future investment which is not viable. We will do our utmost to support residents and their families through the closure and move to alternative accommodation. We will also work closely with City of Edinburgh Council to help to find alternative accommodation for all residents.”
The home, which is run by Viewpoint, will have a 30 day period of consultation about all staff affected by the closure. Bosses have assured staff that they will do everything possible to find alternative employment for staff currently working at the home.
Lothian MSP Miles Briggs said the closure reflected the social care crisis in the capital and called for action to resolve ‘unsustainable’ spending on agency staff. He said: “The closure of Lennox House Care Home is concerning and reflective of the Social Care Crisis which is ongoing in the capital. “The problem of recruiting and retaining staff comes up time and again and yet SNP Ministers are unable to resolve the issue. It is clear that spending on agency staff is unsustainable and must be resolved to maintain care homes in Edinburgh.
A spokesperson from the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership said: “We are working closely with Viewpoint, residents, and their families to ensure that they are safe and supported to move to alternative care homes.” Viewpoint has been contacted for comment.
A spokesperson for Viewpoint Housing Association commented:
"After careful and thorough consideration the Viewpoint Board have taken the decision to close Lennox House. We met with residents, their families and staff yesterday to share this news directly with them, discuss next steps and answer their questions. Going forward we will be working closely with residents, their families and City of Edinburgh Council to find alternative accommodation. We will also be working with staff on a one to one basis to do our utmost to find alternative roles where at all possible.”