A care home owner has said it is with ‘deep regret’ that she will have to close Ashbourne Care Home in Selsey.
Residents and families were been given until May 25 to find alternative accommodation in a letter which said the home is no longer financially viable.
Owner Susan Bell said she had seen financial problems last August, but end of year figures in April had shown business was not improving.
While some relatives have said they are ‘shocked’ and ‘distressed’ by the closure, Ms Bell said the announcement last Friday was ‘not an easy choice’.
Ms Bell said: “My priority at the moment is the staff and residents, and making sure that we do everything we can to make the transfer to their new homes as easy as possible.
“Their wellbeing is a priority, I will always look after the residents.”
A relative of one of the home’s 16 occupants, who did not want to be named, said he was shocked to receive a letter with the notice last week, with residents informed yesterday.
He said: “There were a lot of distressed people there yesterday, it’s a shock to be honest.
“Everybody is also gutted for the staff because it’s no notice, they’ve all got to find jobs but equally, not one of them is going to walk out while patients are still there and it just seems wrong.”
Ms Ball said staff would be given time off to look for alternative jobs and the date was one to work towards, but she ‘wasn’t ruthless’.
She said: “Obviously there’s flexibility, there’s no way anyone is going to be thrown out onto the street of left there on their own and we’re all human beings.
“We started doing a good job of caring and we’ll finish doing a good job of caring, otherwise there’s no way I’d sleep at night.
“I’m sure there will be places for people to go to but as I’ve never done this in my life before I don’t know what the template is.
“We’ve got enough good staff, good manager and deputy manager and they’re really committed to the residents.
“I’m sure between us it will be fine and we can make sure we do the right thing.”
A spokesman for West Sussex County Council, which partially funds the care of some residents at Ashbourne Care Home, said the council was ‘working closely’ with the care home following the decision to close.
She said: “The wellbeing and safety of the residents is our paramount importance.
“We will be working together with residents and their families to minimise distress and to support them as they look for appropriate alternative care home accommodation.”
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