South Shields MP slams ‘shambolic’ handling of care home closure

Emma Lewell-Buck
Emma Lewell-Buck

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck has slammed the predicament of residents at a South Tyneside care home set for the axe.

The 25 elderly residents still housed at Oakdale Lodge Care Home, in Stanley Street, South Shields, are in limbo after its owners announced it will close – possibly as early as September.

The situation has been handled shambolically

Emma Lewell-Buck MP

Bosses at Hampshire Court, which like Oakdale offers specialised dementia care, have offered to transfer residents and staff to its premises.

South Tyneside Council have confirmed they are in negotiations with the care home over a possible move.

John Rutherford, whose 80-year-old father Jack is cared for at Oakdale Lodge, is eager for residents to stay in the town.

He has met with Mrs Lewell-Buck to call for her support and is keen to extend the closure date of the home to allow more time for agreement to be reached with Hampshire Court or other potential interested parties.

Mrs Lewell-Buck MP said: “The situation has been handled shambolically.

“It is such a shame for residents and their families to be in this predicament. I will do everything I can to help.”

A review into the future of the home was launched in February, when building landlord Andrew Lapping entered into talks to sell the site to nearby supermarket, Lidl.

Orchard Care Homes, which operates the home on behalf of owners Monarch, say they were unable to strike a deal over the purchase of the building – though Mr Lapping says he has had no contact with them.