A Heanor man says the health of his elderly mother has gone rapidly downhill since being moved from the former Florence Shipley Care Home.
Glyn Gregory contacted the News after reading that six of the Market Place home’s former tenants have died since the centre was shut in December.
Plans to replace the 1960s built elderly facility with a 32-bed super care centre were finalised in September last year - but it has stood derelict for seven months while operators Derbyshire County Council sought a contractor to complete the work.
Dad-of-two Mr Gregory, 50, of Kirkley Drive, feels the tenants should have been allowed longer to find new accommodation - as he believes the stress of a sudden move left his 86-year-old mother Kathleen Gregory ‘bed-ridden’.
He said: “She’s gone really downhill since the move,
“It does anger me, the pressure that people were put under at the time to move - at that sort of age. The staff had become a family to her there, as well as all the people she used to sit with.”
The county council in response says that the tenants “were allowed to go at their own pace and were in no way rushed.”
But Mr Gregory also feels that his formerly active mother’s condition would be better if she had been moved together with her fellow tenants and the staff to a new premises.
A county council spokesperson said this could not have been done at Florence Shipley.
“On many occasions we have arranged for residents and staff to move en masse where they express a desire to do so. “ The spokesperson said. “This is dependent on the new accommodation being off site and this was not possible at Florence Shipley.”
The council also defended its decision to build a new home over renovating Florence Shipley – which campaigners have suggested would have been the better option.
A spokesperson said: “It was a difficult environment for staff to work in as well as for residents with limited mobility to get around.
“Any refurbishment of the building would have involved extensive structural alterations as well as completely new services, lighting, heating etc to bring it up to modern standards.”
“Furthermore the residents would not have been able to remain in the home whilst extensive works of this nature were carried out.”
Some research, including that by lawyer Yvonne Hossack, suggests the ‘involuntary transfer’ of care home residents can lead to health problems.
Mr Gregory believes this has been the case with his mother, who worked in a shoe shop on Hands Road for most of her life.
He said: “She’s more or less bed-ridden now, it’s a big difference to before. She used to get about on a Zimmer frame at Florence Shipley, now her mobility’s gone.”
The county council says it took every care in moving residents.
A spokesperson said: “We always work closely with residents and their relatives to support them before, during and after any move, as was the case at Florence Shipley.”