It was standing room only last night as the residents of Peel and the west gathered to discuss and debate the future of residential homes after the announced intended closure of the Corrin’s Memorial Home.
The home is due to close in July after its directors said there ‘no way to make it viable’ with the operating company facing insolvency.
Opening the evening, chairman of the board of directors Alan Jones told the meeting closing the home was ‘one of the most difficult decisions we have ever had to make’ but that there is simply no money to continue and the DHSC has made it clear that it will not be providing the funds to keep it running.
Mr Jones added that the board’s ‘primary concern is for the residents and for the staff’ and restated clarification on several ‘inaccuracies’ about the home’s closure.
Staff of the home said they were ‘devastated’ to be told that the home is to close and have all dedicated themselves to finding a way to keep it open. Sharon Thomas, told the meeting: ‘This is not something we could just allow to happen without exploring every possible action to keep the home open.’
She added: ‘Anyone who knows the Corrin Home and the staff within knows that we consider each and every one of our residents as family. We have a close, loyal and caring relationship with all residents and we also know they consider us as family.’
After much discussion about how the home reached a point where it would have to close, the attention of Peel residents turned to the politicians in the room including Glenfaba and Peel MHKs Geoffrey Boot and Ray Harmer, Ayre and Michael MHK Alf Cannan (who are of course all ministers) and MLC Kate Lord-Brennan.
Mrs Lord-Brennan will this morning be moving an urgent motion in Tynwald which will, on paper, likely do little to save the home itself, but will call on the DHSC to seek solutions to the woeful lack of investment in residential care in the west of the island by successive governments.
All the politicians gathered agreed that something must be done, but what exactly that will be remains to be seen, as does whether the three ministers will support Mrs Lord-Brennan’s urgent motion. Passing a motion at the end of the night, the meeting was clear, they want a one year stay of execution so all options can be considered and they want the gov to commit to funding that extra year.
The meeting was told it would require about £100,000 a month to keep the home open, roughly £1.2m a year. To put that in context, the gov paid spent £2m on external legal advice in 2020 and the Manx Care board alone costs over £3.5m each year.