Concern over closure of Sussex village care home

Concern is being voiced by relatives of residents of a care home near Haywards Heath which has announced it is to close.

Tuesday, 7th May 2019, 4:29 pm

St Raphael’s in Church Lane, Danehill, has confirmed that it will shut on July 1.

The home, which looks after elderly people and those suffering from dementia, is run by nuns of the Order of St Augustine of the Mercy of Jesus.

Relatives say that some residents who have already moved from St Raphael’s have since died and they fear that the health of others will be affected by having to move to new homes.

One woman, whose mother has already had to move from St Raphael’s, said there was a ‘distinct lack of transparency’ over the closure. She called for more information to be made public.

Meanwhile, St Raphael’s chief executive Philip Smith declined to say why St Raphael’s - which has previously been rated ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission - was to shut. And he declined to say how many staff might be affected by the closure.

In a statement, he said: “We can confirm that a decision to close St Raphael’s Care Home has been made and that we have informed all residents’ relatives and staff.

“We are working hard to ensure we are able to offer as many residents the opportunity to move to one of our three more modern homes located at St George’s Park, Ditchling Common, all of which offer en-suite rooms and extensive facilities.

“We very much hope that many of our staff will also be able to carry on working for Augustinian Care by transferring to our other homes where they will be able to continue the fantastic work they do caring for our residents.”

The Augustinian Order which runs St Raphael’s was founded in 1842 in Bruges, Belgium, by Canon Peter John Maes who devoted his life to the care of the mentally ill.

The Sisters of St Augustine was re-formed in 1866 when it established its first home - St George’s Retreat in Burgess Hill - principally to care for the mentally and physically ill.