Letters: Apthorp care home is a disaster

Why must Barnet residents pay for the repairs of any empty building?
By Jenny Brown

Credit: Lucas George Wendt on Unsplash
Credit: Lucas George Wendt on Unsplash

Dear Barnet Post,

Thank you Barnet Post, for your article Deaths following the closure of care home sparks campaign for a public enquiry and the follow-up piece Care home needs £6m in repairs, report reveals.

I was shocked to learn that the building, owned and built by Catalyst Housing in 2004, needs £6M of repairs. 

£6M for repairs is excessive, for a 17-year-old building. Barnet Council ended the rental of the building from Catalyst last year, closing Apthorp.  

Official guidance says “time” is crucial when risking moving people with Dementia. Five residents died after the move. The 93 Care Workers got redundancy notices in August 2021. Care Home residents were hurriedly moved out, to close Apthorp by October 2021. 

Barnet Post revealed that Fremantle, the outsourced Trust, ceased to manage Apthorp in 2019. 

After all these revelations I am left wondering: Was it Fremantle and Catalyst (the landlord) responsible for repairs? Who was responsible for maintenance checks? £6M could almost build a new Care Home owned by Barnet Council. Why are Barnet residents asked to pay £6M to upgrade an empty building, fully owned by Catalyst Housing? 

Yours sincerely,

Jenny Brown (Barnet resident for 58 years)

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