A CARE home that was gifted to the town of Uttoxeter by the widow of Dr Charles Bamford, is to be sold as a going concern. The Hermitage Residential Home in Holly Road, is run by a charitable trust and caters for women over the age of 65 from the Uttoxeter area.
Trustees released a statement yesterday (Tuesday), saying The Hermitage would be sold, but adjacent bungalows which were also gifted to the town will be retained by the charitable trust.
A spokesman for the trust said: “The trustees of The Hermitage Charity Care Trust have decided that the long-term interests of the care home are best met by a sale as a going concern to ensure that high quality care can be maintained for residents. No sale has yet been completed and we will be keeping residents and families up-dated as a matter of progress.
“The trustees will retain the bungalows adjacent to the home, including the centre used by Uttoxeter Cares.”
Originally the home of Dr Charles Bamford and his wife, Ellen, The Hermitage was turned into a convalescent home after his death. Ellen Bamford added eight bungalows in the grounds for older people and the site, along with a grant equivalent to £500,000, was given to the town of Uttoxeter in memory of Dr Bamford in 1934.
Judith Leedham is a former trustee at The Hermitage. She oversaw a renovation project for three of the bungalows as part of a plan to rent them out and provide an additional income for the care home. The other two bungalows currently house Uttoxeter Cares.
She said: “I was a trustee but resigned as I wasn’t happy with the situation. But, as I had started refurbishing the bungalows, I continued as a volunteer to complete three bungalows and that has now been done.
“Two are occupied and one is ready to rent. “I’m hoping at some stage we’ll be able to complete the other three.
“The point of refurbishing the bungalows was that they would make a considerable contribution to the Trust, which would help with the running of The Hermitage. The money raised from the refurbishment came from a sizeable donation from JCB as well as additional contributions from local charities and community groups.
“I feel very sorry that it has come to the point that the care home is being sold. “If the trustees had been more open, I feel the town would have helped a lot more to ensure we wouldn’t lose this facility.”
JCB confirmed a sizeable donation had been provided to renovate three of the bungalows.
According to The Hermitage website, the care home offers state-of-the-art facilities and has recently benefitted from a £1.5million redevelopment.
The Echo understands that the requirements around use of The Hermitage – that is to provide care for women older than 65 from within five miles of Uttoxeter – would remain in place even if the building is sold.
A Care Quality Commission (CQC) report published in January 2019 gave The Hermitage an overall rating of Requires Improvement, with the same rating for inspection categories on safety, effectiveness, responsive and leadership The report showed the Hermitage had been rated Good for its level of caring.
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