Care homes are people’s homes and people have the right to live there as long as they want. Unfortunately, this may not always be possible due to circumstances affecting the running of the care home, such as:
- force majeure – an emergency situation such as infection control, flooding or fire
- market exit by the provider
- management and workforce issues, such as not being able to recruit enough quality staff
- suspension of placements by commissioners due to quality and safety issues
- failures in quality which lead to regulatory action being taken to protect people living there from serious risks, including closing part or all of the home
When any of these incidents take place and the home closes (either temporarily or permanently), the process must be handled in a way that supports the people who live there so that, despite the difficult circumstances, people have a good experience of moving to a suitable, safe alternative home that meets their needs. Moving home can be traumatic even when people plan and choose to do this, so the impact when people have to move at short notice due to unforeseen circumstances or emergencies should not be underestimated. This also applies to people affected indirectly by the closure, such as those already resident in care homes where people move to.