Published: 00:01, 24 January 2018
Devastated residents of a nursing home have been told they have just weeks to find somewhere else to live.
Kingsfield Care Home, which looks after 51 people and employs 104 staff, announced it would be closing down due to structural problems with the building it is based in, in Jubilee Way, Faversham.
Paula Spencer, whose terminally ill sister Elizabeth, 55, has lived at Kingsfield for four years, said the news had come as a huge shock.
She said the care taken of her younger sister, who has multiple sclerosis and cerebral atrophy, had given her great peace of mind.
Ms Spencer said: “As a relative of someone who needs 24-hour care, I couldn’t have asked for more.
“It’s a fantastic place with fantastic staff. She has been treated with dignity and respect, she has been through many phases of her illness and they coped with that fantastically.
“I know all the staff personally now because I have been coming in and out for four years. They’re like family.
“I had my first holiday in four years last year, because I had finally found somewhere that I could trust to look after her. I couldn’t have asked for more caring staff.
“As a carer and a relative it has been such a shock and now we have all got this horrible reality of finding somewhere else for our loved ones."
Ms Spencer, who works in Canterbury, originally chose Kingsfield when Elizabeth’s health deteriorated as it was the only home which was equipped to provide the level of care she needed at her young age.
It is hoped the home, which is set to close by the end of this month, will reopen after an extensive programme of construction work.
However, it is unknown how long the repairs, which will address fire safety standards and long-term structural concerns, will take.
According to Care UK, which manages Kingsfield, invasive structural surveys will be needed to understand the full extent of works required.
"It's a fantastic place with fantastic staff..." - Paula Spencer
Sheila Roberts, a spokesman for Care UK, said it was working with residents, their families and Kent County Council to identify alternative accommodation.
She said: “Our absolute priority, at all times, is the safety and wellbeing of residents and after a detailed review we have concluded that, unfortunately, the nature of the building and the scope of the work make it impractical for residents to remain in the home while work is carried out.
“We are very sorry that such disruption has proved unavoidable and apologise to everyone at the home for the disruption and inconvenience caused.
“Every effort will be made to support residents to find appropriate alternative care arrangements to facilitate a safe closure by the end of this month, or at the earliest opportunity thereafter.
“Our aim is to work with each resident to explore options so that each individual can make informed choices about their future accommodation.”
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