Burman House which is in danger of closing. Picture: Paul Tibbs

The future of Burman House care home in Terrington St John is in doubt after its owners proposed closing the facility.

Norse Care has launched an eight-week consultation into its plans which could see the 30-bedroom home close and residents moved elsewhere.

The online consultation document  says a number of options have been considered, including gradually closing the home by not admitting any new residents or selling the home to another care provider, but concludes: “the best way to continue to care for Burman House residents in a more cost effective way would be to close Burman House and to offer residents a place in another care home or housing with care scheme.”

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council, on behalf of Norse, said the proposals were part of Norse Care’s wider development programme to develop new homes and extra care housing.

In a statement the spokesman said: “Many of the bedrooms at Burman House are small and this means that it is not possible to use specialist moving and handling equipment in these rooms.

“Over the past years the dependency levels of older people requiring, and being eligible for residential care, has increased  substantially, and these levels continue to rise.

“Consequently, the demand for the small bedrooms has declined which has had a significant impact on the occupancy rates.”

The consultation document says the cost of providing care at Burman House is high because the home has a high number of bed vacancies.

Residents, relatives, staff and others are invited to respond to the consultation by November 20 at https://norfolk.citizenspace.com/consultation/burmanhouse

 The grandson of one resident said: “It would be a criminal shame to close it. 

“It makes people in there feel like they are less important than the rest of society to move them on. This is their home, they don’t want to be moved around like animals.

“The residents don’t want bigger accommodation – my grandmother feels safe there and the care she receives is excellent.”

However, the county council spokesman, on behalf of Norse Care, said: “Residents, relatives and staff at Burman House have been informed of the consultation and will all have the chance to discuss this over the coming weeks with managers at the care home and their social care staff. 

“Norse Care are keen to reassure everyone that they will support them and listen to their views through the consultation.

“Whatever the outcome, Social Services has a responsibility to look after all residents and will ensure everyone is given support.”

Jonathan Dunning, Norfolk branch secretary of Unison, said the closure would be a “tragedy” for the residents” and around 30 carers.

He said it made no sense to close a good home, rated consistently good by the Care Quality Commission, and claimed it was at risk as a result of county council budget cuts.

He urged the council to “re-examine its priorities” and “make sure Norse Care has enough cash to keep all its homes open”.