Update regarding the closure of Hyman Fine House

26 Jul 2022

Understandably, our announcement last week regarding the closure of Hyman Fine House, has caused sadness, anxiety, and in some cases, anger in the local Brighton & Hove community. Closing a care home is the hardest decision any care organisation will ever make. It was not a decision that Jewish Care made lightly, and it was a decision we made, with an extremely heavy heart. 

20 beds occupied out of 45, is impossible to support long term. Indeed, the occupancy has consistently reduced over the last 10 years. The nature of the care provided at the home has changed and we are now providing significant nursing and end of life care. Changes in how care is provided, means that the critical mass needed to support a residential care home, has increased significantly. The pandemic resulted in the loss of 7 residents at the home and there are recruitment and financial challenges that compound the position. Unfortunately, there is simply not sufficient demand for places at Hyman Fine House to bring capacity levels up to an acceptable level for the home to be sustainable. Many of Hyman Fine’s bedrooms are no longer fit for purpose in terms of size and accessibility, with some having no wet room facilities. This has led us to withdraw those rooms from being available. 

We felt it was important to provide the community with an update since announcing the closure last week. 

Following our announcement to all 43 members of staff on Tuesday 19th July, and to the home’s residents and relatives on Wednesday 20th July, we have ensured that every resident and their relative, has been contacted by one of our dedicated Jewish Care Social Workers, supporting them every step of the way throughout this process. 

 A follow up meeting with relatives on Friday 22nd July, provided the opportunity to share further questions and concerns, with both the Chief Executive, Daniel Carmel-Brown and Jewish Care’s Director of Care, Housing and Hospitality, Rachel Jones. Of course, we understand some relatives continue to feel extremely upset about our decision to close the home.

 To date, 17 out of 20 of the residents/families have expressed an interest in a potential care home transfer. 7 residents, who have family in London have expressed an interest in potentially moving to one of Jewish Care’s homes in North London, 3 residents have expressed an interest in potentially moving to Nightingale House in South London, 4 residents are considering care homes near family and friends in Worthing, Seaford and Peacehaven, 3 residents are considering a care home in Brighton & Hove, and 3 residents and their families, are yet to express an option. This of course is only the current position and subject to change.

Of course, we understand that exploring an alternative home does not diminish residents’ desire to stay at Hyman Fine House. The dedicated Social Workers will continue to support all residents/families with exploring options that are available.

For those families that are exploring the option of other local homes, we are currently exploring the possibility of whether a Kosher meals-on-wheels provision is something we could offer. We know how very important Kosher food is to the residents and hope we can make this a reality.

Individual meetings have now begun with our staff, as we look to support them through the consultation process. The staff at the home continue to remain fully committed to caring and supporting all the residents.

Jewish Care, with other communal organisations, will continue to have a strong presence in the local Brighton and Hove community. Following our announcement, we want to assure the community, that we are committed to putting in place community services to ensure the local community receive support and care that is Jewish, and we will work with other organisations to explore what this looks like.