A CARE home based in Woolston has announced that it will be closing permanently.

Heathercroft Care Home was placed into special measures by Care Quality Commission inspectors in September after being branded ‘inadequate’ following an inspection.

Ashberry Healthcare, which runs the home, has cited ‘current challenges facing the sector’ as the main reason behind the closure.

The announcement affects 45 residents and 70 members of staff, with an indicative closing date set at June 30.

During their most recent visit in July last year, CQC inspectors highlighted concerns including incorrect PPE use by staff and torn and worn floor coverings which created trip hazards.

Ashberry offered a ‘wholehearted apology’ to residents and their families at the time for the shortcomings and said it intended to ‘move away’ from nursing care.

In announcing the closure, a spokesman said: “The health and wellbeing of everyone who makes their home with us are always our top priorities.

“We recently completed a review of the home that considered what support is needed to move forward positively for the future, and what challenges and opportunities lie ahead.

“Our focus is on the need to operate in a sustainable and viable way, and we sadly concluded that the current challenges facing the sector mean we are unable to deliver the type of service we want to, and to build a bright future for the home.

“We have therefore made the very difficult decision to close Heathercroft Care Home.

“We know this will be upsetting for our residents and the local community, but we firmly believe this is the right course of action.

“We are committed to working with residents, their families and our local health and care partners to ensure a smooth transition period.

“Our goal is to make sure all residents find a suitable new home that meets their individual needs and where they will be happy.

“Our central team will also fully support colleagues throughout this process, and we will be engaging with them and their representatives over the coming weeks.”

The spokesman added that the June 30 closure date offers ‘plenty of time’ to make sure everyone finds a suitable new placement, which is the priority, and that the home is doing what it can to minimise disruption.

Being placed in special measures demonstrated a deterioration of standards at the Longbarn Lane home, as the facility was previously told that it ‘required improvement’ in April last year.

In their September report, inspectors said: “Daily care records were not maintained and did not evidence appropriate care provided, which exposed people to a risk of harm.

“During the inspection, we identified people who were at significant risk of harm and made safeguarding referrals to the council.

“The physical environment was clean and tidy, but some areas within bedrooms identified clear risks, with torn and worn floor coverings that created trip hazards.

“Recent visits by the local authority identified inconsistent use of PPE. Most staff wore masks during the inspection, but some walked around the building with the mask under their nose, which could pose potential risks.”