Anger over sudden closure of Sense home in Pinchbeck
Anger and upset has greeted the sudden closure on Thursday of Sense’s residential home in Pinchbeck for people with complex needs.
Staff and families of the residents are unhappy at the manner and speed with which it has been done. Families were only notified on January 11 and say finding new accommodation in such a short space of time is unrealistic and stressful.
Sense has declined to disclose why the Church Street service is closing but a letter
issued to families by the charity pointed to financial challenges and the need to be adaptable and resilient to its ever-changing clientele.
Staff and parents claim the catalyst for the shock news was the placement of an unsuitable resident at the home just before Christmas. The young person has challenging behaviour and staff have struggled to cope with her physically – one suffering a serious back injury in a fall arising from an incident. Sense said some staff have left the Church Street service recently and the home has shown that it cannot manage new referrals effectively.
One parent, who did not wish to be identified, says she has now lost faith in the charity’s ability to provide her child with the safe and home-from-home environment which they have enjoyed at Pinchbeck for a number of years.
She added: “My trust and confidence in Sense has gone completely. If they have to close for financial reasons, fair enough, but to give 30 days’
notice – which was then extended by ten days – to find another placement for people with complex needs is totally unrealistic. It should be three or four months. It’s been really stressful.”
Referring to the new resident, she said: “Sense has let her down because they shouldn’t have placed her there and has let the other residents down by placing her alongside them.
“She arrived in a new environment on December 18 and then was on her own there over Christmas when all the other residents went home. Of course it wasn’t going to go well for her.”
The letter to families from operations manager Vanessa Hart said: “Church Street is a six-bed service and is unable to function financially as a five-bed service.
“Residential referrals are now more challenging in their needs and we require a service to be resilient to the changes. At this time Church Street has not been able to demonstrate its effectiveness at managing new referrals and so we deem this service as unsustainable.”
In response to a press request for comment, Sense confirmed the closure, adding: “All individuals will be rehoused in other Sense homes that meet their needs. This has been done in collaboration with the individuals and their families.
“Some staff have now left Sense and others will be offered suitable alternative employment.”
The charity declined to say anything about the future of the property.