Residents facing deadline to find new homes after care home announces closure

Lakenheath Village Home

Lakenheath Village Home - Credit: Archant

A care home in Lakenheath has announced it is to close in three months time, forcing residents to find new places to live.

Lakenheath Village Home, in Back Street, opened in 1986 and is run by the charity Christian Enterprise Foundation.

The board of trustees for the foundation announced on October 21 that the care home would close in 90 days.

Ernie Neal, a trustee since the home opened, said that the home was not closing because of poor inspection reports or because of financial difficulties.

Instead Mr Neal said: “It is no longer possible to meet all of the regulations wanted by the Government, the Care Quality Commission and health and safety.

“We simply don’t have the all facilities the new homes have. We are forced by regulations that we can’t comply with, we have to close.”

Councillor Colin Noble explained that both Suffolk County Council and the foundation had agreed that new regulations being brought in meant that small care homes, such as Lakenheath’s were not suitable.

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These regulations would call for larger rooms, the inclusion of en-suites and specially hoisted beds.

Many relatives of those living in the home are angered about the prospect that their loved ones will have to be relocated.

Shirley Hunter, from Worlington, and whose mother lives at the home, said it would be “a great, great shame if it closes, it’s a lovely, lovely home”.

Mr Neal, however, pointed out that he too had a relative in the home, describing the situation as a “nightmare”.

Miss Sarah Riseborough, 23, who set up a Facebook page campaigning against the closure, said: “I’m disgusted and angry, knowing people could be made homeless.”

Miss Riseborough, from Newmarket, who used to work at the home, added: “There’s a lady of 105 in there. What this could do to her is not worth thinking about.”

Cllr Noble said that he would be meeting with the residents and their families on Thursday with care workers to provide one-to-one support and advice to talk through their options.