A SCANDAL-hit care home in South Tyneside has closed its doors for good.
Bosses at St Michael’s View Care Home in Westoe, South Shields, have confirmed that the last residents have now moved out of the complex.
The decision was made to close the site, which was home to 21 elderly people, during the summer on the grounds that it had became financially unviable and had seen a decline in the number of residents.
The closure is the final chapter of a troubled history for the building, which was taken over by Countrywide Care Homes Ltd 18 months ago.
The building was the centre of a long-running police investigation after the death of 80-year-old resident Joyce Wordingham in February 2010.
Officers also investigated the deaths of 15 other residents at the home, which was under the management of the now-defunct Southern Cross at the time.
A spokesman for Countrywide Care Homes Ltd said: “It was with great regret that we took the decision in August to close the home for reasons of financial viability, due to a tough economic climate and a decline in the number of people staying in residential care services. This was a particularly difficult decision to take as we worked hard, alongside South Tyneside Council, to turn around care standards.
“Since then, we have worked to support residents and their families, and help them to find suitable alternative accommodation.
“The council has also provided strong support to residents and families at St Michael’s View.
“All the residents have now moved into their new homes.
“This has been a difficult time for residents, so I am pleased that we have been able to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone.”
A number of care staff have since faced prosecution or been made the subject of professional disciplinary measures after the police investigation.
Daphne Joseph, a 46-year-old nurse, was handed a 12-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to wilful neglect in January 2012.
In March 2012, Sean Abbott, 20, was jailed for 12 months after pleading guilty to four charges of assault against two patients.
Former St Michael’s View nurse Johnsy Johnson was suspended for 12 months in June by the Nursing and Midwifery Council after her care of patients was found to have “fallen short of expected standards”.
In July, Ailsa King was struck off for failing to care for an elderly woman who died just a fortnight after she was admitted to the home.
In August, Paula Washington, who failed to act after a dementia patient fell 27 times in the last two months of her life, was cautioned.
The council launched a serious case review into the neglect which took place at St Michael’s in March 2012 and said the results would be known by the end of that year.
It is still to deliver findings.
A spokesman for the council said: “The serious case review is a complex and detailed piece of work involving the co-ordination of several systems operated by different agencies, including the police, the criminal justice system and the coroner.
“The findings will be reported in due course, and the length of time taken to complete the review has not delayed action to improve standards in any way.”