Care home kicks out most vulnerable residents because of staff shortages

Elderly residents were given just a few days to leave a care home left crippled by staff shortages.

St Catherine’s care home in York said it can no longer look after them and their need for intensive around-the-clock care and specialist monitoring.

It comes amid a growing staffing crisis in social care, with huge vacancy rates across the sector and homes struggling to workers.

Wellburn Care Homes, which owns the site, said it ‘had to act swiftly and decisively’ last month.

The firm said it worked alongside the local authority to find alternative accommodation for those affected, while looking after the remaining residents who did not have specialist needs.

There are fears the requirement for all staff to have compulsory Covid vaccinations by November 11 will worsen the national situation.

A Wellburn spokesman said: ‘It was planned that we’d do this over a fixed period of time, allowing a smooth transition away from nursing care at St Catherine’s, towards a more dementia-centred focus.

‘Unfortunately outside forces and the current recruitment climate have forced our hand, acting as a catalyst and ultimately resulting in the move being brought forward much sooner than we’d hoped.

‘The care sector as a whole in the UK is currently experiencing an unprecedented staffing crisis.

‘Providers up and down the land are haemorrhaging existing staff to other sectors, including hospitality and retail.

‘Although we’ve been working tirelessly, liaising with local authorities and recruitment agencies to try and find a solution to the nursing shortage, we haven’t been able to do so in a timely manner.

‘The result of all of these factors meant that we were left in a position, where we simply couldn’t run the nursing element of St Catherine’s without a Registered General Nurse to ensure the safety of our residents.

‘The care of our residents has and always will be our absolute priority and whilst we are extremely disappointed to be in this position through no fault of our own, the board at Wellburn had to act swiftly and decisively, to ensure the safeguarding of all of our residents.’

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