CARE: Closure begs questions

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I read with interest your report on the closure of Ravensmount Residential Home in Alnwick.

This closure was carried out with minimal compassion for residents, relatives or staff.

The owner offered no sympathy and expressed no regret as to the timing.

The question that needs to be answered is why the home closed.

The reasons given were financial, but when Gemma Touray took over the ownership of Ravensmount in 2015, less than a year ago, she promised the earth. Things would be done, but it would take time. Nothing was done to enhance the environment, either externally or internally.

If Ms Touray was serious about making Ravensmount a going concern, why had she made no effort to embark upon some short-term goals and make the building appealing to prospective clients?

What was the reason behind her takeover?

There was no regard to the timing of the closure nor alternative accommodation. She came with no information and no reassurance.

Ms Touray has yet to return to speak to staff or residents.

Throughout all of this, my father has been well cared for by staff. He has spent seven happy years at Ravensmount and cares deeply about how the staff, some of whom have worked at the Alnmouth Road home for over 25 years, have been treated.

My father has a visit from his children at least five times a week. If we had felt he was not being well cared for, we would have moved him long ago.

Like the staff, we knew improvements were necessary, but we were prepared to give Ms Touray the opportunity to put her plans into action.

Throughout all of this, the staff have never allowed their working conditions to affect their care and attitude towards residents or relatives. They are to be commended.

After an initial blip, social services staff at Northumberland County Council have really stepped up to the mark and have worked extremely hard to secure alternative accommodation for the majority of residents, and they are putting in every effort to house those still in residence at Ravensmount. I hope residents and staff find some comfort and security during this special time of year.

Elisabeth Haddow,

Ashfield Terrace,

Shilbottle