Redbridge pensioners to lose their homes just before Christmas

Reg Wright was told by Ryedale Care Home his wife Lilian has to find another home before Christmas

Reg Wright was told by Ryedale Care Home his wife Lilian has to find another home before Christmas - Credit: Archant

More than 40 elderly people who require nursing care have until the day before Christmas Eve to leave a nursing home, which is being converted into a residential home only.

At the beginning of November, all nursing residents at Ryedale Care Home, Victoria Road, Ilford – which offers residential care and specialises in dementia and Alzheimer care – received a letter telling them they had to leave before December 23 as the home was closing its nursing services.

The private home run by European Health Care Group has 58 clients and said the decision was taken after it was unable to “recruit permanent staff locally”.

Reg Arthur Wright, 87, of Gascoigne Estate, Barking, has been visiting his wife Lilian, 78, at the home for 15 years. She has advanced Alzheimer’s and is bedbound. She is fed through a feeding tube.

Mr Wright said: “We are all being bloody chucked out – it’s disgraceful, it’s sickening and everybody is up in arms. I have been in a bit of a state.”

He was unable to hold back his tears as explained he had started to remove the pictures from the walls in his wife’s room.

Mr Wright, who has prostate cancer and leukaemia, said he is “wobbly” on his feet and had to decline another care home place for his wife found by Redbridge because it was difficult for him to access.

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A European Healthcare spokesman said the care home was closing its nursing services because “it cannot deliver the high standards of care we insist upon” and that the company had been working with Redbridge Council “to minimise the impact”.

The letter sent to residents’ relatives at the end of October stated the decision had not been taken lightly and explained there had been four managers within a two year period and a “chronic shortage of qualified nurses”.

A nurse from Redbridge, who worked at the care home, told the Recorder members of staff had been leaving because of the low pay and “impossible” working conditions.

Redbridge Council confirmed it was assisting 19 residents to find new nursing home places although it was “sometimes difficult”.

As he has every year, Mr Wright brought 10 large tins of chocolate to the care home staff for the winter festivities, but this year he won’t be there to celebrate with them.