NPC: Home owner using ‘shameful and spurious’ reasons to close care home and evict elderly
NPC General Secretary Jan Shortt issued the following statement in response to the latest news from the owner of the Mary Feilding Guild Care Home. He intends closing the property, which will lead to residents aged between 80 and 100 losing their long-term home. We are concerned that his latest announcement concerning alleged Legionnaires' disease will advance the closure date.
Jan Shortt, General Secretary, NPC:
“The National Pensioners Convention is appalled at the behaviour of the new owner of this care home in London.
Mitesh Dhanak, who has a portfolio of many care homes (including Precious Homes Group) purchased the home with residents aged from 85 to 104 years old in situ, having made a commitment to retain both the staff and the home as a going concern. He then gave notice to quit by the end of May. That notice was given just days after the sale was concluded and constitutes a breach of trust.
It also calls into question the role of the trustees of the Mary Feilding Guild Home Trust. The Memorandum and Articles make it clear that its charitable assets are to be transferred to an entity with similar values and objectives as the Trust in the event of closure or dissolution. In this case, the Trustees have demonstrated a lack of due diligence in the sale of the home and their failure to safeguard the vulnerable people for whom they are responsible. What is the point of the Charities Commission and governing documents if they have no relevance or validity?
There are a number of issues tied up in this matter, none so important as the health and well-being of residents for whom the Mary Feilding/Highgate care home has been their only home for some decades. To expect these residents (even with support) to be happy about leaving is incredible – more so since they have not left the home during lockdown and restrictions still apply.
There is the question of due diligence (or lack of) by Mr. Dhanak in the run up to the point of sale. Mr. Dhanak only mentioned that the home ‘had been unsustainable for some time’ after he purchased it. Therefore, we ask wheth