VULNERABLE residents are being evicted from their nursing home and dozens of staff are being made redundant while it closes for refurbishment.

The Northern Echo understands that staff at the Morris Grange Care Home in Middleton Tyas near Richmond have been told it will close at the end of September they and were given verbal notice of their redundancy yesterday.

A company spokesperson says there is a 'multi-million pound' programme of work in the pipeline with plans to reopen next year as an 80-bed state-of-the-art care facility.

However, some staff are sceptical that it will ever reopen, fearing that the land will be sold off for housing.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Morris Grange Nursing Home Picture: Google

One member of staff told The Northern Echo that there are currently 52 residents living at Morris Grange, including some in a challenging behaviour unit.

She expressed her concern that they would not all be able to find suitable accommodation before the planned closure, especially those from the challenging behaviour unit who 'can't be placed just anywhere'.

The staff member questioned why the home could not be refurbished in stages, with the residents being moved to other parts of the building while work took place.

She said: "All the families are distraught.

"All the families have said they will never, ever find care like they have at Morris Grange.

"That is the sad thing, the carers are all so good and they (the company) are ripping everybody apart."

She added: "Morale is dreadful, it is so, so bad."

The building is owned by the GH Group founded by the former Darlington Football Club Chairman George Houghton.

The home is operated by Morris Grange Care Home Limited and in a statement, the company said: "The care home was previously owned by Sycamore Care Limited which had been in administration for three years and was acquired by Morris Grange Care Home Limited on May 21, 2019.

"We have plans to create a state-of-the-art care facility creating 80 luxury care beds supporting 100 jobs in the Middleton Tyas and the surrounding areas.

"As part of the multi-million pound investment programme, significant structural works are required to the building which will mean that the existing care home will be closed for an interim period and will re-open next year.

"We are working closely with the Local Authority and CQC to ensure all residents are able to find suitable accommodation and support required to meet their individual needs.”

Richard Webb, Corporate Director of Health and Adult Services at North Yorkshire County Council said it, along with the Hambleton and Richmondshire district councils and the local CCG have been informed of the refurbishment plans.

He added: “Our paramount concern is the well-being of the current residents and we would expect the care provider to put residents’ needs first; to offer them interim or alternative local accommodation while the refurbishment takes place; and then to offer them places in the new-look home when it is ready.

“We are working with Morris Grange and I am writing to them to raise our concerns and to offer practical help to try to resolve these issues.”

In its last QCQ inspection in January last year, the home was rated 'good' across the board.