An Oxfordshire care home is at threat of closing down after bosses began “consulting on the future” of the facility.

Abbeyfield, who provides sheltered housing and care homes for elderly people, has made the “difficult decision” on The Old Bakehouse in Chipping Norton after a recent review of their care homes.

The care home bosses said the review came after the Covid-19 pandemic and the increase in operating costs.

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A petition, signed by almost 1,500 people, has been launched by the family and friends of residents to try and keep the care home open. saying it is a "vital service" in the community.

An Abbeyfield spokesperson said: “These reviews considered how our properties can keep pace with the changing needs, tastes and expectations of older people, the investment required to bring them up to modern standards and whether they are able to meet new regulatory and energy efficiency requirements.

“We also needed to reflect how the past few difficult years have impacted the organisation’s finances, particularly the impact of the Covid pandemic, the huge increase in energy prices, rising inflation, and rapidly increasing operating costs.

“Having fully considered the findings of this review, it is with regret that we have made the difficult decision to begin consulting on the future of The Old Bakehouse.

“Everybody taking part in the consultation process will have the opportunity to share their thoughts, ideas and any proposals they may have before a final decision is made.

“We fully acknowledge the impact that this consultation, and any potential outcomes, will have on our residents and staff in particular, and we will be doing everything we can to support and assist them through this difficult process.”

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In an open letter to the care home, friends and families of residents in the care expressed their “deep concern” over the potential closure.

It said: “We understand that you may be facing financial difficulties and that this decision may seem like the only option. However, we urge you to reconsider.

“Your assisted living home provides a vital service to our community.

“It is a place where seniors can live independently while still receiving the care and support they need.

“Closing it would mean forcing these vulnerable members of our society out of their homes and into unfamiliar surroundings.

“Furthermore, we believe that there are other options available to you besides closure. For example, you could explore alternative funding sources or partnerships with other organisations in the area.

“We also want to point out that closing your assisted living home would have a negative impact on the local economy.

“Your facility employs local people who would lose their jobs if it were shut down. In addition, the residents use the local shops for daily living requirements.

“In conclusion, we ask that you reconsider your consultation in relation to the closure of your assisted living home.

“We believe that there are alternatives available and that keeping it open is essential for both our seniors and our community as a whole.”

To view the petition visit here: