STAFF working in a Wrexham care home have been left in shock after its owners announced it will be closing.

The news was broken to the staff at Meifod and Vicarage Care Home in Rhos on Thursday, by the current owner, Orchard Care Homes. The announcement comes just one week on from the news another Wrexham-based care home (on Nant-y-Gaer Road in Llay) had its residents removed after Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) and Wrexham Council terminated their contract with the provider.

Orchard Care Homes say the decision to close was an incredibly tough one to make and blamed financial instability as the main reason.

A spokesperson for the home said: “This has been an incredibly tough decision and not one that we have taken lightly. The home has been financially unsustainable for some time and despite exploring different avenues, we have been left with no alternative but to close the home.

“We understand that this is a difficult time for all concerned and we will do everything we can, working with residents, families and the local authority, to make the transition to new homes as smooth as possible.  We will also support staff to find alternative employment.”

Care Forum Wales, who represent more than 450 care homes, nursing homes and other independent health and social care providers issued a statement saying it was a sad day for the residents affected by the decision.

Mary Wimbury, the Chief Executive of Care Forum Wales, said: “This is a very sad day and our thoughts are with the residents, their families and the staff at this very difficult time.

“The closure of the Meifod and Vicarage Care Home means it will be the second care home to be lost to the community in the Wrexham area in two weeks.

“With the number of people aged over 85 set to double in the next couple of years, were are heading for a real crisis in the social care sector.

“Care homes across Wales are closing at an alarming rate and it clearly illustrates there is something very badly wrong and needs addressing as a matter of urgency.

“We do not want to play the blame game but we need a very serious conversation about how we are going to plan, provide and fund social care services in the future at a time when demand is soaring and provision is diminishing.

“Care homes are real community assets like the local bank, the pub and the local shop and once they are lost, they are gone forever.

“That means it will not be possible for people to receive residential social care in their own communities which should be a fundamental right.

“Given the economics of the sector, this news is a real shock but sadly not a surprise.”