Charity facing ‘chronic’ staff shortage to close care home

29 Jul 2022 News

St. Elizabeth's Centre, Much Hadham

St. Elizabeth's Centre

A charity with an income of £33m has decided to close its only adult care home due to a “chronic national shortage” of trained staff and the pressure of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

St. Elizabeth’s Centre announced last week that it would close its adult care home in Hertfordshire, which currently has 83 residents, on 30 November this year.

It said in a statement that the charity could “no longer guarantee the safety of our residents because we cannot recruit and retain sufficient numbers of trained staff”.

The site’s rural location away from any public transport routes, rising cost of petrol, post-Covid recovery of services, Brexit and a strong employment market in other sectors all contributed to the charity’s difficulty in running the service.

It said the trustees’ decision to close the site was “in the best interests of those in our care”, as it had “no prospect of safely staffing the service in the longer term or meeting the standards required of us”.

“It is heartbreaking to have to take this step, but any reduction in the quality of our care is simply not in keeping with our ethos, and is a long way from the type of service we have made our name in providing,” it said.

“We will, however, continue to operate as a residential school and college, supporting children and young people with epilepsy and other complex conditions, where there is an increasing need for our specialist care.”

The charity is working with family members of the 83 residents and local authorities to find suitable placements for them before the site’s closure.

For more news, interviews, opinion and analysis about charities and the voluntary sector, sign up to receive the Civil Society News daily bulletin here.

More on