Ely care home sold to new healthcare group to provide nursing support

PUBLISHED: 10:47 16 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:07 16 January 2020

Care home Vera James House in Ely will be sold to a healthcare group to provide nursing care. Picture: GOOGLE EARTH

Care home Vera James House in Ely will be sold to a healthcare group to provide nursing care. Picture: GOOGLE EARTH

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Cambridge Housing Association (CHS) has sold an Ely care home - a year after announcing it was carrying out a "strategic review" of its involvement in this sector of the market.

Forty two single en suite units that make up Vera James House in Chapel Street are to be sold to Glenholme Healthcare.

CHS, a social enterprise and charitable housing association, runs a large numbers of properties for both young and old but has been looking at its involvement in care homes for sometime.

Its annual report last year revealed that it faced "significant pressure from staff recruitment and retention, the growing needs of residents and the declining spending power of local authority commissioners".

It added that these issues were being "exacerbated by the Government's failure to produce its long awaited Green paper on social care and by planned post-Brexit restrictions on migration".

The report added: "In response to these pressures the group has reduced its community care services and is carrying out a strategic review of the others with a view to reducing its risk"

It also noted that Cambridgeshire County Council was reviewing the services it commissions to deliver savings.

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"This review will affect some of the group's low margin services and as a result further changes are quite likely as we seek to maintain reasonable minimum returns."

CHS operations director Stephen Hills said that Vera James House - whose sale is expected to be completed at the end of February - would still be run as a care home but able to provide nursing care too.

"No existing resident at Vera James House will be asked to leave; all staff will transfer to the new company under TUPE regulations, and the home will continue to take council nominations," said Mr Hills.

"Community requirements for care services and our own capabilities as a care provider have evolved considerably over the past few years meaning it is now the right time to adapt our services and the way we operate," he said.

"The welfare of current residents has been central to the sale process and we have worked hard to find a buyer with values that closely align to our own. We expect Glenholme Healthcare to provide the same high quality of service CHS has always delivered to residents at Vera James House."

CHS Group will retain ownership of John Beckett Court and Bedford House on the same site as Vera James House and will continue to operate the Ely Young People's Project, as well as providing affordable housing and other services throughout Cambridgeshire.

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