RBS shuts care homes to save money in Canterbury

Elderly woman Elderly people at the Oldroyd House in Canterbury have been given three months notice

Ninety-two-year-old Lucy Clancey has lived at Oldroyd House in Canterbury for the past six years and she likes it there.

She likes the home, her fellow residents and the staff.

Lucy expected to be able to spend the rest of her days here but two weeks ago she - along with her fellow residents - was handed a letter by the owners - the Royal Bank of Scotland Care Homes Foundation - giving her three months notice.

The Canterbury home is one of three owned by the RBS Foundation - the other two are in Harrogate and Torquay.

Hard to move

The charity provides homes for pensioners of the bank, although residents are charged the market rate of between £500 and £700 a week.

Dr Roz Altman from Saga warns that moving elderly people can seriously affect them. Many who are forced to move don't live for long in their new accommodation.

In a statement RBS said: "A major problem is that the homes are too small and although they meet regulatory standards, they do not meet the standards currently expected in the market.

"The homes are not purpose built and their poor configuration contributes to the high running costs.

"Future maintenance costs of the homes are likely to be high."

Care costs

Start Quote

"We understand that the closure is upsetting for both the residents and for staff, and are committed to doing everything possible to support them ”

End Quote RBS statement

They went on to say: "The trustees have been concerned about the continued financial losses and low occupancy rates within the three care homes operated by the charity.

"We understand that the closure is upsetting for both the residents and for staff, and are committed to doing everything possible to support them."

Campaigners dispute the fact that the homes aren't fit for purpose, pointing out all were rated excellent by the Care Quality Commission at their last inspection.

This isn't an isolated problem though - and Britain has an ageing population. More than 400,000 people in England live in care homes.

Elderly resident of a care home There is concern about the cost of care as Britain's ageing population increases

Half of people over 65 can expect care costs of up to £20,000. One in 10 could currently experience costs of over £100,000.

Care for the elderly is in the spotlight with the publication on Monday 11 July of the Dilnot report, looking into how the government should fund care in the longer term.

Lucy Clancey and her fellow residents though have a more pressing problem in the short term - finding a new care home.

Louise Stewart Article written by Louise Stewart Louise Stewart Political editor, South East

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  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Its totally ridiculous to say that the home is too small (registered for 26 people) Its the perfect size for the people living there. Most older people do not want to live in a home with 100 other people. I run a home for 22 residents in a non purpose built building, charging the same kind of fees and we are totally financially viable. Its outrageous that RBS can do this and get away with it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    In addition to the above comments, the Trustees of the RBS Foundation are failing to respond fully to questions being raised about the issue, despite undertaking to do so in their initial Statement. This leaves one with the distinct impression that the consultation period which they instigated was just a sham, in that they were determined to proceed with the closure of the Homes, come what may.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    This is a disgraceful way to treat our old people, RBS should be ashamed of themselves! If this is how they treat their staff god help the customers.
    People are living longer and quality care homes are in demand, so it is obvious that these homes have purposefully not been marketed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    It is disappointing that due to a legal loophole RBS seem able to prevent a thorough expose of their lamentable approach to this situation. The very term "Trustees" would imply an overriding obligation to the interest of the residents, not to the RBS Management. It seems that these "Trustees" are not fulfilling their purpose but merely rubber stamping a financial decision from above.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    RBS here are basically getting away with murder. It is obvious that the closures are happening only because this Foundation does not fit in with their core business & they have found a way of doing away with the homes. The Trustees have come up with no arguements that stand up & the low occupancy has been manufactured by them to further their cause. RBS should be bought to account BBC please help

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    My Father will be 102 next month.

    He has been in the R.B.S. Harrogate Care Home for almost 5 years and expected to die there. However this dreadful news has clearly been planned for a long time in order that refusal to take new admssions would reduce numbers as a consequence of which the Trustees can show "unprofitable" trading.
    Father said "the move will finish me off".

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    RBS advertises itself as a caring bank but here is clearly not. The trustees are hiding behind their incompetence. The homes have not been advertised to NatWest staff and thus have been allowed to dwindle. No challenge to the figures, claiming that the homes cannot be made to be profitable, has been allowed. It is tragic that three excellent care homes are being closed. Shame on the RBS directors

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    The real disgrace here lies with the trustees of the Royal Bank of Scotland Care Homes Foundation. Whilst comparable private care homes are flourishing, the three they adminster are, they say, losing money because they can't be filled. Nonsense! The trustees have been turning applicants away. The homes and residents are merely an administrative inconvenience to these trustees. They should resign.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    We are as a nation desperately short of quality well funded care homes such as these that enjoy extra income from donations and legacies with huge success over the last 38 years. Surely it is the Trustees that should be evicted not the residents. The RBS Pensioners across the country are outraged at the complete lack of openness and transparency by these Trustees who will not provide the evidence.



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