MHA announces sales and closures of homes and schemes to ensure sustainable future

MHA, in response to a review of their services, has taken the difficult decision to pull our of 10 of their current 88 care homes and put another scheme in Scotland into administration. These are being taken as responsible steps necessary to ensure the sustainable future of MHA. The full statement of their Chief Executive Sam Monaghan , which can be found on the MHA website via this link https://www.mha.org.uk/news-and-blogs/blog/changes-mha/ is pasted below. Also included is a downloadable document of Frequently Asked Questions Changes_at_MHA_FAQs_09052023. We will be impacted locally with either the sale or closure of the MHA home near Stratford Upon Avon.

MHA Statement:

Like any responsible organisation, MHA needs to make sure it is on the right track to be able to deliver on its mission. For us, this is about ensuring that we enable older people to live later life well. We also have a responsibility to the charity to make sure our finances are healthy and that we are in the best possible shape to develop our services for the future.

Back in 2019, we began a review looking at the long-term sustainability of all our services. This was inevitably paused during the pandemic but has now been completed. The result is that, working with our Leadership Team, our Board of Trustees has had to make a number of difficult decisions.

These are not decisions we have taken easily. They have had to be made so that MHA continues to be a healthy and vibrant charity, providing quality care and support, now and into the future.

Care homes

The first of these decisions is to withdraw from 10 of our 88 care homes. Two of these are owned by local authorities, and we are in talks with them to explore whether they can take on these particular homes. The remaining eight are now being put up for sale.

The 10 care homes are:

  • Allesley Hall in Coventry
  • Avonleigh Gardens in Oldham
  • Cedar Lawn in Stratford upon Avon
  • Connell Court in Southport
  • Engelberg in Wolverhampton
  • Greenways in Bognor Regis
  • Hafan y Waun in Aberystwyth
  • Harwood Court in Cramlington
  • Herondale/Kingfisher in Birmingham
  • Queenswood in Beeston, Nottingham.

We have been speaking with specialists in the care market and are confident that buyers will soon be found for these homes.

When a buyer is found, the new owner will take responsibility for the home, including residents and colleagues. If, however, in the unfortunate situation that a buyer can’t be secured, I can’t rule out the possibility of some closures.

It is anticipated that, where possible, homes will start to transfer to new owners by early 2024.

Affected staff at these homes will be given the opportunity to transfer to the new provider under the formal legal process known as TUPE regulations.

If we find ourselves having to close any care homes, we will support residents and their families to find new homes and affected staff to find new roles inside MHA, if there are any suitable opportunities and people want to stay with us or help them to find a new job elsewhere.

Money raised from the sale of the care homes will be used to invest in the fabric of our remaining homes and schemes and in new services for the benefit of our residents.

As it has always done, MHA will continue to review and assess our homes and schemes to ensure they meet and adapt to people’s changing needs, ensure financial sustainability, and remain valuing places to live.

Auchlochan Garden Village and Scottish retirement living schemes

Another key decision arising from the review is that MHA has placed Auchlochan Garden Village in Scotland into administration. This means MHA is withdrawing from Auchlochan and the administrators will take responsibility for securing the long-term sustainability of the scheme. This includes the two care homes at Auchlochan – Bankhouse and Lower Johnshill.

MHA took over Auchlochan Garden Village in 2009 to prevent it from going into administration. However, the operating model for Auchlochan has a range of complex legal, operating and funding issues across the village, which MHA has been unable to resolve, despite investing considerable resources over the past 14 years. It is with regret that, as a charity, we cannot continue to do this.

To support the continuation of services during the process of administration, Auchlochan will be able to draw on a contingency fund of £5 million from MHA. This will provide the best opportunity for new operators to be found, which includes the potential for leaseholders to set up their own management company.

The changes in Scotland also include MHA withdrawing from our three smaller retirement living schemes, with a view to selling these to alternative providers. These are Wesley Court in Granton near Edinburgh, Taransay Court in Milton near Glasgow, and St Andrew’s Court in East Kilbride.

The schemes would be difficult to support without the larger infrastructure which Auchlochan gives us in Scotland. Again, we will keep all residents, their families, and our colleagues fully informed as this work progresses.

Together, these changes mean that MHA will no longer have any services in Scotland.

Why these changes?

The review we started in 2019 and then paused because of the pandemic, looked into the long-term sustainability of our services.

This included looking at the location and size of our care homes and retirement living schemes, their proximity to other services for older people, their financial viability, the quality of our buildings, and their fit with emerging trends regarding the types of care and support that older people will want in the future.

As a result of the review, we identified the real challenges for MHA in ensuring the on-going sustainability of the 10 homes and Auchlochan and that MHA could no longer support these. Without Auchlochan, it would be too difficult for MHA to continue supporting the three retirement living schemes in Scotland.

These changes are being made to make sure MHA has a strong and viable future. This year we are marking our 80th anniversary of providing care and support for older people, and these changes will enable us to be in the best shape possible to continue to do this vital work.

If you want to know more, the frequently asked question (see here: Changes_at_MHA_FAQs_09052023 ) will give you more details. If you have any further questions, please email chiefoperatingofficer@mha.org.uk

 

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