Plans for Hyman Fine House care home and care services in Brighton

21 Jul 2022

It is with a very heavy heart that Jewish Care has decided to start the process leading to the closure of Hyman Fine House in Brighton & Hove by the end of September 2022.

Jewish Care strives to provide safe, high-quality care and services, which are effective, efficient, are sustainable in the long term and are in fit-for-purpose facilities. 

Hyman Fine House was built to meet the care needs of a different generation when it opened in 1971. Over the past 10 years, the needs, as well as the aspirations, of our care home residents have changed dramatically. Many of Hyman Fine House’s bedrooms are no longer fit for purpose in terms of size and accessibility, with many having no wet room facilities. This has led to us to having to withdraw those rooms from being available. In addition, Hyman Fine House has faced enormous pressure financially because of significant declining occupancy over the last 5 years, compounded by us sadly losing 7 residents during the pandemic. There is not sufficient demand for places at Hyman Fine House to bring capacity levels up to an acceptable level with only 21 of the 45 rooms available for use there occupied. Cost increases has further challenged the financial viability of the home.

Jewish Care has also explored options to give the ageing Hyman Fine House the extensive refurbishment needed for it to be an environment that meets the needs of today’s residents with complex care needs. However, to do this would require significant investment in Hyman Fine House at a time when occupancy continues to be significantly challenged, making the future financially unsustainable.

Jewish Care’s number one priority over the coming weeks is to ensure the residents and staff of Hyman Fine House are supported every step of the way through these changes, and that our residents relocated safely to accommodation that suits their needs. 

With almost a third of the home’s 21 residents having immediate next of kin living in London, we anticipate some of our residents will transfer to one of our London based Jewish Care homes. Jewish Care has identified 3 of our care homes, which also offer residential, nursing and dementia care, and which are appropriate to meeting our Hyman Fine House residents’ needs. These homes will be able to accommodate all those existing Hyman Fine House residents who choose them. All 3 homes are based at The Betty and Asher Loftus Centre in Friern Barnet. All of them benefit from having access to modern facilities, and activities, on site which include a kosher cafe, synagogue, wellbeing activities and beautiful grounds. In addition, each home has its own secluded garden area and activities. We are also working closely with Nightingale Hammerson to identify whether any of our residents might move to their care home in South London. 

We are working with all the 43 members of staff at the home who face redundancies to explore employment possibilities or redeployment at Jewish Care.  This is subject to there being vacancies (as it stands right now, there are few vacancies) and of course location in relation to our other homes and therefore our ability to offer employment is likely to be a barrier. We know what an anxious and difficult time this will be for our staff, and we will support and assist all our staff through a redundancy process and as much we can with other job interviews for other providers, if that becomes a choice or option for them.  

Jewish Care, together with, other communal organisations, will continue to have a presence in the local Brighton and Hove community. 

We are committed, to putting in place the following services to ensure the local community receive support and care that is Jewish. Drop-in community centre-based events and activities, a monthly Memory Way Café to support carers of loved ones with dementia, befriending, and virtual programming for those that are housebound, and supportive tea parties to bring older members of the Jewish community together on a regular basis.

 We will also be creating a brand new, dedicated, Jewish Care Community Services Coordinator role in the local area to support this work, and we will carry out a piece of research with the local community to establish what services they would want to see. 

Daniel Carmel Brown, Chief Executive, Jewish Care says:

 “We considered many options before taking the very difficult decision to close Hyman Fine House; however, we do believe that this is ultimately the right decision to ensure Jewish Care is offering services that both meet the standards of those residents we are for whilst ensuring that the organisation can sustain itself financially, in order to exist for the Jewish community and future generations.  

Understandably our residents and their families have expressed their deep sadness and anxiety with some also feeling angry and this decision, nothing I can say can take away these feelings. However Jewish Care is fully committed to working with all residents and their families to find suitable alternative homes and we will support them every step of the way. 

Our commitment to providing new community services for older people and their families in Brighton and Hove alongside the community will also ensure that we continue to have a presence in supporting the local Jewish Brighton & Hove community now and in the future.”