Care home closure for mum’s death

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A DAUGHTER claims her elderly mother died of a broken heart after being moved from doomed Kingswood Care Home in March.

Liz Wright is convinced her mother’s life was cut short because she was forced to leave the Methodist-run care home, which is set to close in October.

Her mum Paddy (Patricia) Beale died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital this week aged 88 - just a couple of months after she left Kingswood Park.

Mrs Wright, of Wimblington, is angry about the way the decision to close the home was made without giving any consideration for the elderly residents, who like her mother were forced to look for alternative accommodation.

“She was really happy at Kingswood Park. She had been living there for about four years but had been going in for respite care and had links with it for about 10 years.

“She became very distressed and confused when the closure was announced and she just went down hill from there. She even said she would rather die than move - it is fair to say she died of a broken heart.

“We made the decision to move her early on rather than wait until the last minute because she was so confused. Every day she would ask if she was moving and she would get upset,” said Mrs Wright.

Mrs Beale was relocated to a home outside of March, but Mrs Wright had nothing but praise both for the care given to her mother by the new home and also for social services who helped with the move.

But she is furious that local MP Stephen Barclay and local councillors did not do more to save Kingswood Park.

“It is easy to forget just what we are losing. The residents will be moved, the staff, who are fantastic and dedicated, will reluctantly find alternative employment and the home will close.

“But I want to keep it in the public’s minds. I want people to remember and I am going to keep fighting to ensure that we get a new care home built on that site, because March certainly needs one.

“Kingswood Park was a strong, caring community, where my mother was settled and happy. She was blind and recognised people by their voices. She was not a terribly social person and she missed the staff more than she missed the other residents - The staff had become like family to her,” said Mrs Wright.

Her mother’s funeral will be held on tomorrow (Thursday September 1) at noon at March Crematorium when the Chaplain from Kingswood Park will conduct the ceremony.

Kingswood Park belongs to Hereward Housing, having been sold off by Cambridgeshire County Council along with other care homes across Fenland in the mid 1990s.

It is run by Methodist Homes for the Aged. The closure is being blamed on a variety of things including the cancellation of a block booking of beds by the county council as part of cost-cutting measures.

Hereward Housing has also claimed it is out-dated because the rooms do not have en-suite facilities.