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Osborne Grove: Closure of Finsbury Park nursing home where residents hadn’t been bathed in months ‘is a travesty’

PUBLISHED: 16:21 14 December 2017 | UPDATED: 17:03 14 December 2017

Haringey Council chiefs voted unanimously to close Osborne Grove Nursing Home in Stroud Green. Picture: Steve Poston

Haringey Council chiefs voted unanimously to close Osborne Grove Nursing Home in Stroud Green. Picture: Steve Poston

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Council chiefs ignored campaigners’ pleas and decided to shut a care home after finding residents there hadn’t been bathed in months.

Haringey Council chiefs at Tuesday night's meeting in the Civic Centre. Picture: Jon KingHaringey Council chiefs at Tuesday night's meeting in the Civic Centre. Picture: Jon King

In a public meeting on Tuesday, Haringey Council’s top team voted unanimously to close the doors at Osborne Grove Nursing Home in Upper Tollington Park.

It is Haringey’s only publicly run care home following a town hall decision to save money by prioritising care in the community over residential homes.

As reported by the Gazette in March, inspectors rated Osborne Grove inadequate after finding 16 out of 19 residents had not had a bath since a Care Quality Commission (CQC) visit three months before.

In the meeting, Gordon Peters of Hornsey Pensioners Action Group described closure as “the wrong course of action,” arguing the CQC in its latest report said the home had made “significant progress”.

“Residents’ fundamental rights, and their health, are at risk and it is probable some would not survive another move,” he added.

Chris Taylor, from Unison, argued the home’s staff would face lower wages in the private care sector.

He said the CQC had not recommended the home close and staff were being blamed for failings, instead of management, before urging the council to team up with the NHS to run it.

But leader Cllr Claire Kober (Lab) argued the council faced financial pressures with the home having overspent by £1million and a deal with the Whittington Hospital failing in 2015.

Cllr Pippa Connor (Muswell Hill, Lib Dem) said responses to the consultation showed people wanted the home kept open and there were no beds available at others rated good or outstanding by the CQC to take Osborne residents.

But Charlotte Pomeroy, Haringey’s assistant commissioning director, replied there were “more than enough vacancies” in neighbouring boroughs – including Islington.

Adult social services director Beverley Tarka said Osborne Grove staff had failed to pay attention to the needs of patients.

“It’s not about interaction,” she said. “It’s about attention to nutritional needs, clinical needs, how that is responded to, how that is recorded, how that is thrown upwards to management so we can ensure patients are kept safe,” Ms Tarka said.

“We know moving [patients] can be traumatic, but independent advocates have been made available. We will work at the pace of every individual. Evidence shows when people are moved to a better standard of care they improve significantly.”

After the vote, Mr Peters said: “This is a travesty of local democracy.”

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