Charity Leonard Cheshire are under fire again after it was revealed that at least two disabled people have died and several others have been hospitalised following the closure of a residential home at short notice, Disability News Service reports.

The charity closed their Greathouse care home near Chippenham, Wiltshire, giving only three months’ notice to the staff and the 20 residents who resided there. Leonard Cheshire blamed its closure on staffing issues and the cost of repairs, closing the care home on 27 July.

Leonard Cheshire this week confirmed that two former residents had died soon after the closure of the residential home. One had been living at the home for 15 years, and died not long after moving out. Another was said to have had a stroke while trying to settle into their new accommodation.

In addition, Anne Keat, whose son Richard was living at Greathouse, said that as many as six former residents have been hospitalised after the care home’s closure – including Richard.

He was admitted to the hospital after losing more than 20kg – more than a quarter of his body weight – and remained there for three days. His mother said that the chef at Greathouse had said how much less food he was cooking in the run-up to the closure, as the residents had lost their appetites.

“He literally disappeared before our eyes,” Anne told DNS. “It was a pure grieving process, it was horrible to see.

“Leonard Cheshire have a lot to answer for. I just think they have behaved appallingly.”

The charity has been under fire previously this month after it announced it would be selling 17 of its residential homes to other care providers. Some of the former Greathouse residents were moved into these other homes, which will result in further turmoil and upheaval for them and their families.

In a statement to DNS, a Leonard Cheshire spokesperson said:

“We are aware that two former residents of Greathouse have sadly passed away.

“Our heartfelt thoughts are with the families at this difficult time.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further at this point until the facts are established.

“Care was taken in supporting all residents of Greathouse with their individual moves, including health checks and the transfer of records around complex conditions so that continuity of care was properly managed.

“Continuity and quality of support, and the welfare of all residents is our top priority during the coming months as we look to secure a new provider for the services that we have taken the difficult decision to sell.

Image: Geograph/Eirian Evans

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