Monday, 16 July 2018

Care home told it can’t have younger residents

A CARE home for the elderly has been ordered to stop housing young people with mental health problems.

A CARE home for the elderly has been ordered to stop housing young people with mental health problems.

An enforcement notice has been issued against the Apple Hill Nursing Home in Hurley after it admitted looking after people as young as 27.

The home specialises in dementia care and has permission to house 30 patients aged 65 or over.

However, following an investigation by Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council in April, it emerged that half of its residents were younger.

The council agreed to postpone legal action but ordered owners Henley Healthcare to submit a planning application.

The company applied for retrospective permission to convert Apple Hill into a community mental health hospital. It wanted to accept people who had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, provided it was not in connection with a crime.

Twelve neighbours submitted letters of objection, as did Hurley and Bisham parish councils.

Simon Pitney-Baxter, who runs the neighbouring Red Lyon pub, said: “[We] have had to endure unsupervised — and sometimes supervised — patients causing distress to ourselves and our customers, which is unacceptable.

“My staff have to be trained in downplaying the negative impact that Apple Hill has on my business in an effort for us to continue in a positive light.

“Why should my business suffer so another’s can prosper, particularly when theirs operates outside their planning consent?

“To grant them their long overdue desire to make the home suitable for patients of all ages would only ridicule the entire planning process.”

The council rejected the application, saying it was likely to result in increased activity and noise at the site and would reduce the number of beds for elderly people in the borough.

It issued an enforcement notice ordering Henley Healthcare to comply with its existing planning conditions, which will take effect from September 13.

The owners will have six months to find alternative accommodation for its younger residents. The council’s adult services team will work with the home and other local authorities to rehouse any residents who have to move.

It has notified all other councils who have placed residents at the home and sent a copy of the notice to the Care Quality Commission.

A spokesman said: “The council has made it clear that, while responding to local concerns about the planning breach, the health and wellbeing of the vulnerable people living at Apple Hill remains a priority.”

Henley Healthcare, which has a right of appeal, declined to comment.

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