Families shocked at threat to close Thurrock care home

RESIDENTS of a specialist Thurrock care home and their families have been left “shocked, stunned and distressed” by news that it is facing closure because of a huge cost increase imposed by the organisation that runs it.

Family Mosiac is a ‘not for profit’ organisation that nevertheless turned in an operating surplus of £70million last year at a profit of 29 per cent of its turnover.

However, the owners of Coach House on Woodward Heights in Grays have told the local commissioning funding groups that pay for the care of the current 13 residents that they need to increase the weekly cost by 40 per cent, making the average weekly cost per patient increase to a total of £1,900.

The alternative, say Family Mosaic, is closure.

Coach House currently looks after 13 clients; nine funded by Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), two by Castle Point & Rochford CCG and one by Basildon and Brentwood CCG and one is self-funded.

Coach House residents have a range of neurological conditions which have been acquired through a life changing event or diagnosis, such as a car accident, stroke or multiple sclerosis, resulting in the need for round the clock care.

One of those residents is Hayley Glover (left), 47, a mum and grandmother who has lived at the home since a car crash 20 years ago left her in a paraplegic condition.

She and her family say they are stunned by the news that she may have to find a new home, possibly miles away from her family and friends.

Her sister, Tracey Brooks, 43, from Tilbury, told the Enquirer the news came like a “bolt from the blue.”

“Coach House is Hayley’s home. It’s as simple as that. All the residents there form one big extended family and all their families know and care for each other too,” she said. “Hayley has been there since her immediate hospital care after the crash which left her, a young mum with two children, unable to care for herself.

“We have all looked after the children and they, and their children now, have known Coach House as a wonderful, caring place that has given so much love and care to Hayley.

“Now that could all be shattered for the sake of money. What price can you put on the care and love that Hayley has been given and that she and the other residents continue to need?

“We all knew things were tight and it’s been a bit of a financial struggle, but this was a bolt from the blue and has left everyone shocked, stunned and distressed. I was down there at the weekend and everyone was in tears.

“We are fighting and hoping that we can find a way to keep all the residents at Coach House. This has caused deep distress, not just to Hayley and her three children and three grandchildren, but all her family, all the other residents from across the local region and all their families.”

A statement from Thurrock CCG said: “The Coach House approached NHS Thurrock, and their neighbouring Clinical Commissioning Groups in April 2015 outlining their financial position which presents Thurrock and Basildon & Brentwood CCGs with a cost pressure of more than £234k per year for 10 of the patients that are funded by both CCGs. Currently, packages of care at Coach House cost about £1,450 per person, per week. Similar complex packages of care are available within south Essex within other settings.

“The CCGs have met to discuss options to meet the proposed increase in costs, but because of the financial sustainability pressures that all health systems are facing, there is currently in place a local 0% uplift for all nursing home placements.

“We review individual patients and if their needs have changed following clinical review, appropriate changes will be made to their care packages. However, Family Mosaic presented a blanket 40 per cent uplift on all packages of care.

“The Coach House have effectively served the CCGs notice for these patients and we are in the process of establishing a joint plan to communicate with those affected. As part of this we will be looking to source alternative placements.

“We teams with specialist expertise and we are working to collectively provide assurance and alternative sustainable care plans.

“We are saddened that we have been left with no choice other than to find alternative provision. The CCGs’ CHC teams will work with those families and relatives, funded by the CCGs, to find mutually suitable alternative settings according to need. We recognise the distress this is causing both patients and their loved ones and we will continue to work with Family Mosaic to identify appropriate alternatives.

“We note Family Mosaic made a £70m surplus, however this is against a backdrop of the CCGs in south west Essex facing a collective £27m budgetary shortfall in 2015/16; with similar cost pressures in future years. “

A statement from Family Mosaic said: “Coach House has been managed by Family Mosaic since 1992, supporting residents and families to have the best life possible by providing qualified and compassionate care.

“Unfortunately in recent years the service has been losing money as weekly charges have remained static but costs have increased. This position has worsened year on year and as it stands the service is no financially longer viable, losing £400k last year.

“We have been discussing the situation for a number of weeks with the CCGs who place people to live at the service. We presented a time and motion study for each customer including the nursing and support needs but we have been unable to secure additional funds and options to change how the service is delivered are not viable.

“We are committed to Coach House residents and their families and appreciate their anxiety and concern. We have made arrangements to see everyone connected individually and we will ensure we are available to answer questions and support people as they adjust to this news and participate in discussions. The CCG can replace us with a different provider if they feel a suitable provider can be found.

“Our care and support directorate made a deficit of £1.5million last year and £400k of that relates to the Coach House.

“The surplus mentioned arises from our housing services and are reinvested in new homes. They are not used to cross subsidise care services.

“Family Mosaic are committed to providing these kinds of services but cannot subsidise local authority health contracts.”

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