Jewish care home in Brent announces closure, calling time on 274-year history

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Jewish care home in Brent announces closure, calling time on 274-year history

Jewish Choice, which started as Beth Holim in 1747, will close its doors amid the financial impact of the pandemic

Jewish Choice residents.
Jewish Choice residents.

A long-established Jewish charity offering residential and respite care plus independent living apartments in Wembley is calling time on a 300-year history.

Jewish Choice, which began life three centuries ago as Beth Holim on the Mile End Road, said the pandemic had reduced its resident numbers and income to such an extent that it could no longer continue to operate.

“It is a cruel irony that, having provided choice for our residents even before they came to live with us, as well as offering many choices to enhance comfort and care while here, we have been given little choice but to prepare for the closure of this respected home in Wembley,” the charity said on Tuesday.

Jewish Choice previously traded as Edinburgh House and before that as the Spanish & Portuguese Jews Home for the Aged, and currently has 51 residential rooms and 16 independent living apartments.

The home has been “Covid-free” since the spring, but despite this the charity said it “cannot sustain running at less than current capacity and in the natural cycle of life, as residents pass away, that number will reduce further and so the charity’s income”.

Its statement read: “It is with great regret that the board, many of whom have been associated with the home for generations of their own families, have taken this painful decision.

“It is expected that by the autumn arrangements will be made with comparable care homes and in consultation with local authorities and the CQC, to make a seamless transfer of residents. Families have been informed of the decision and will be regularly updated as we progress this unfortunate transition.”

Chair Bernard Mocatta said: “Despite staff working heroically and selflessly around-the-clock, the financial consequences of the pandemic have caused serious disruption to the home’s finances.

“It grieves me to have to say that the home is losing money at too high a rate for us to continue. Staffing is already at a level that cannot be cut further to comply with Government standards of cover and care.

“We are hopeful that we can arrange for an orderly placement of our residents and to treat our wonderful staff in a fair manner. Many residents have made plans to move and a few already have taken this step. The home will not close until all the residents have been suitably accommodated.”

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