South Shields MP says care home closure ‘saga’ is devastating news for residents

Protestors against the closure of Oakdale Lodge, led by John Rutherford with Councillors Ann Walsh and Olive Punchion
Protestors against the closure of Oakdale Lodge, led by John Rutherford with Councillors Ann Walsh and Olive Punchion

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck says the impending closure of a care home in the town is ‘devastating news’ for campaigners who lost a four-month fight to save it from the axe.

 The future of Oakdale Lodge had been in doubt since February, when its operators launched a review into the business after the landlord of the Stanley Street building entered talks to sell the site to nearby supermarket, Lidl.

Emma Lewell-Buck

Emma Lewell-Buck

Concerned family members held a protest outside the home, calling for it to stay open.

Last week staff and residents were told by Orchard Care Homes (OCH), which operates Oakdale Lodge on behalf of owners Monarch, that the home had no future.

Family members were told OCH was unable to strike a deal over the purchase of the building from landlord Andrew Lapping – but he insists he has had no communication from them and is willing to listen to all offers over its future.

The home could close as early as September after 90-day notices were given to staff.

This is devastating news for the residents and their families, who have been living with this saga for months now.

Emma Lewell-Buck MP

Mrs Lewell-Buck said: “This is devastating news for the residents and their families, who have been living with this saga for some months now.

“What is most important now is to find new accommodation for residents as quickly as possible.

“If there is anything I can do to support residents and families, I encourage them to get in touch.”