Lisa's story

Young girl with disabled man in a wheelchair

Lisa worked as a team coordinator at Scope’s Jack Howarth House care home, until it closed in July 2014.

When we heard the proposal, it did make me a bit apprehensive – more for the residents than for me. I wanted to make sure that they weren’t rushed into a choice.

The building wasn’t fit for purpose. It was old and run down, and it didn’t match up with the staff there – they were very caring and delivered a high level of care, and the building brought it down.

Why the home needed to close

There were six people at the home and they all shared one bathroom, so people would have to wait their turn, or have a bath at different times of the day. People would have to go through the house in their dressing gowns, which wasn’t very dignified.

The home was tucked away at the end of a cul-de-sac, and the paths were so narrow – if you had the home’s vehicle you could get access, but otherwise you’d have to take people onto the road. It wasn’t the right location for accessing services in the community.

As a member of management at the service I felt: I wouldn’t want to live there, so why should anyone else have to?

Supporting residents, staff and families

Still, the closure was very emotional. A lot of staff had worked there for 15, 20 years. We just tried to keep them informed and involved in the process as much as we could.

I spoke to all the residents at each stage about the proposals. I was keyworker for a resident called John (pictured above with Lisa). He was worried at first when the initial proposal came out, and there were times that he’d be upset and go into a low mood.

But then it just seemed like he had a complete turnaround, saying, ‘The building is old, it is falling down, I don’t like my bed, I don’t like this’

Come the moving day, there were no tears. I think it was the way we helped him prepare – doing the visits to his new home and arranging overnight stays.

The families were very, very worried, and there was some anger about the service closing, but they can see a huge difference between where their relatives were and where they are now.

All our residents have gone to either a residential care home or to supported living.

I can say, hand on heart, that everyone has gone to a home where they are happy and safe, and that they were involved in the choice of where they wanted to go.

I can say, hand on heart, that everyone has gone to a home where they are happy and safe.
Lisa Team Coordinator, Jack Howarth House