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A Shropshire nursing home which faced the threat of closure was today given a reprieve after a buyer agreed to take it on as a going concern. Shropshire-based English Care will take over the ownership of The Lady Forester Community Nursing Home in Much Wenlock, which had faced the axe after its owners – The ExtraCare Charitable Trust – put it on the market for financial reasons. Today the community of Much Wenlock was praised by the charity for its role in ensuring that the home, which includes Forester’s Court, survived as a going concern. A massive campaign to save the home was launched just six weeks ago and has included a packed-out public meeting, a petition and hundreds of people joining the battle on Facebook. Subject to final negotiations, transfer of ownership should occur within weeks.
English Care was chosen as the winning bid from several organisations which had expressed strong interest in taking on the home. The ExtraCare Charitable Trust said that it had accepted the bid on the basis that the nursing home could continue to operate as a going concern where current residents’ homes are safe and the existing staff team is able to keep delivering high standards of care and support. It is expected that four GP beds funded by the Primary Care Trust will also survive.
The charity also said that it is satisfied that English Care, who own and operate Bowbrook House care home in Shrewsbury, would be able to meet the regulatory requirements required to operate the home.
Chief executive of The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, Nick Abbey, said today: “I would like to thank residents, relatives and staff for their patience and support during a difficult and anxious time for all concerned.
“I am delighted that we have reached this key stage in our negotiations and I have good reason to believe that the final transfer of ownership will succeed.
“I fully recognise that the community of Much Wenlock has supported Lady Forester Community Nursing Home for many years and I am grateful for the representations that have been made during recent weeks.
“The community has played a vital role in helping us reach this point.” David English, a director of English Care, said today: “We very pleased that Lady Forester Community Nursing Home and Forester’s Court can be saved.
“We are a local family business with twelve years experience of running a care home, so know exactly what is required to provide the best facilities and highest standards of care for the residents. “We look forward to meeting with all those concerned and being part of the excellent community spirit which supports the home.”
Councillor David Turner, of Much Wenlock Town Council, said today: “The fact that the home will continue to run as a going concern is excellent news. “I know that the residents of both the home and the town itself will now breathe a huge sigh of relief.”