Tuesday 11 December 2018
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care home residents given three weeks to leave

Residents of a south Devon care home have been given less than three weeks to find alternative accommodation after the owners announced it was closing.

The 11 residents of South Efford House, near Aveton Gifford, were told in a letter on 2 March that the home was due to close on 20 March.

Owner Crocus Care said the home was losing money and "was not viable".

It added that Devon County Council had been informed and was helping find alternative accommodation.

South Efford House, which has 19 bedrooms, but is registered to house 22 residents, has been a care home for at least 20 years.

Paul Ewer, managing director of Crocus which has run the home for the past seven years, said he was confident alternative accommodation would be found for the three private clients and eight local authority clients.

"It is not viable going forward because there are only 11 residents in the home," he said.

"It has been loss making for a considerable period of time."

He said the home would need at least 17 residents to be economic.

"We have had a lack of referrals from social services and fees from Devon County Council do not really cover the cost of looking after residents," Mr Ewer said.

"The clients offered have high needs and we are not able to accept them with the fees offered."

He added: "It is very sad, but unfortunately we cannot go on."

Mr Ewer said the firm hoped to redeploy a "small number" of staff within the company.

'Cared for beautifully'

Crocus has four other homes in Devon, which Mr Ewer said were profitable and in no danger of being closed.

Ros Brousson, a regular visitor to a friend at South Efford, said: "Everyone is very surprised and very sad about it.

"My friend has been cared for beautifully there.

"I understand the residents have had a lot of support from the authorities who are doing their best to find something suitable for them."

A spokesman for Devon County Council said: "Efford House is making a loss because it has a significant level of vacancies and the business has been unsuccessful in attracting clients to the home.

"Devon County Council is working closely with residents and their families to find suitable alternative accommodation that meets their individual needs."