Serendipity Care Home in Urmston closes, with more than 70 ‘heroic’ care workers set to lose their jobs

Serendipity Care Home in Urmston has closed down unexpectedly, leaving open the possibility that more than 70 local care workers will lose their jobs imminently. Care home residents have to be urgently moved out of the home by the end of this month.

The care home, which is registered to support up to 45 residents with dementia care, elderly care and physical disability care is owned by Premum Care Ltd- a company which only runs one care home.

In 2017, the care home was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive after an 87 year old resident died when the care home’s lift collapsed.

Serendipity was last inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in February, and was rated Inadequate (the lowest rating) in every category. The ratings deemed that the care home was unsafe, ineffective, uncaring, unresponsive and poorly led. The CQC report explains: “People at risk of harm were not always adequately protected. Risk management was poor, with risks not always being assessed or reviewed.

“Incidents were not always being recorded or reported appropriately. We made an urgent referral to the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) as we were concerned the homes fire risk assessment highlighted a number of outstanding works.

“The manager did not recognise or respond to safeguarding incidents or follow established local procedures for reporting and investigating them. The service was not well-led.

“People, their relatives and staff told us on many occasions that there was not enough staff to support people safely.”

And whilst many are pleased to see the poorly-run home go, trade union UNISON- which represents care workers- has raised concerns about how Serendipity’s care workers have been treated. UNISON Trafford branch secretary Scott Caplan said: “This dedicated group of care workers have given their best for years in the most trying of circumstances whilst this care home was run into the ground by management.

“In the last few months, these heroic carers have done their best to keep residents safe during the pandemic, and now they are potentially being rewarded by losing their jobs. We can only imagine how worried they are feeling going through a redundancy process in these uncertain times.

“To make matters worse, the care home’s management has refused its care workers’ requests to be accompanied by UNISON during consultation meetings. This is simply unacceptable. And to add insult to injury, Serendipity care workers have now been told that they may suffer substantial delays or even cuts to their final pay packets.

“Urmston will be better off without the poorly managed Serendipity Care Home. We hope that given the current circumstances, Trafford Council will be able to identify local care homes with job vacancies so that Serendipity’s care workers can be redeployed.

"Where private providers have proven themselves completely unable to deliver the social care our residents deserve, the local authority should be prepared to step in and take these services back in-house. Not only is it better for the workforce, it's better for the people they care for and a better use of public funds.

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