Bellhaven aged care facility in Wellington is scheduled to shut down in early October because it is “unviable”.
Owner of the facility, Dubbo’s Orana Gardens Ltd, has explained its decision in a document sent to staff of Bellhaven and seen by the Daily Liberal.
“The decision to close the service was taken after much deliberation and consideration,” Orana Gardens Ltd chief executive officer Kristine Saywaker said.
“The service is closing because of the declining number of residents and the ever-increasing costs that are now rendering smaller facilities such as Bellhaven unviable.”
Bellhaven has 46 beds but the Daily Liberal understands that at least 10 are not in use.
Wellington’s expanding Maranatha Aged Care House is one of the facilities looking to accommodate Bellhaven residents.
After Bellhaven closes “on or around” October 7, Maranatha will be the only aged care facility in Wellington.
President of the Maranatha board of directors, former Wellington councillor John Trounce, confirmed on Thursday that its $6 million new wing would be completed in about six weeks.
The wing will boost the number of licensed beds at Maranatha from 60 to 80.
“We hope to be able to take 12 to 15 Bellhaven residents,” Mr Trounce said.
In a statement sent to the Daily Liberal, Ms Saywaker said Orana Gardens had “managed to find quality, alternative accommodation for all residents at no additional costs and assistance with relocation will be provided free of charge”.
“A significant number of residents will be able to remain in Wellington at Maranatha House and all other residents will be relocated to facilities in Dubbo,” she said.
The document sent to Bellhaven staff promises “individual meetings” with all staff to discuss the closure and its impact.
“This may include the opportunity to gain employment at another aged care facility and if this is not possible we will discuss redundancy,” Ms Saywaker said.