A member of staff at a care home in Helston has spoken out about the decision to close three care homes in Cornwall and launching a petition.

Laura Merrick, who works at Trengrouse Care Home in Helston, says she has 'nothing to lose' in speaking out about the decision by Cornwall Care to close three of its care homes in Cornwall as part of its planned restructure, although the company has described the closures as "temporary". 

Laura claims staff at Trengrouse Care Home are scared and distressed about what the decision could mean for both staff and residents at the home.

She also criticised the way in which Cornwall Care had handled the situation and alleged that staff were being 'silenced' and that they were told they weren't allowed to speak to the press.

Laura said: "It's been quite a shock in all honesty.

"We were called into an emergency meeting and told that the charity had gone into crisis and they'd be shutting three Cornwall Care homes down.

"Obviously the staff were devastated because they didn't know where they stood with that and, more importantly, very concerned about our residents.

"The residents we look after have very complex needs, are very fragile, and are very vulnerable.

"We've had families coming in that hadn't been told, they'd found out on social media and the news and no one from Cornwall Care had actually informed them that this was the decision they were making.

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"When they finally had a letter in the next day, some of the letters stated that their relatives might not even be re-homed in Cornwall.

"Because their needs are so complex, there might not be a home in the county that could have them, which has led to a lot of family members very upset and very uncertain about what's going to happen to their mums, their dads and their grandparents."

Since the announcement, Laura has set up a petition looking to raise awareness of the situation and has so far gathered just over 1,300 signatures.

Laura also claimed that staff at the care home were told they could be re-deployed to other homes but that she didn't think that would work for some members of staff.

"Some people don't drive, and I think the nearest home is in Falmouth or Redruth, so it just isn't practical."

A spokesperson for Cornwall Care said: "We worked very hard to ensure staff, residents and families were told about what was happening before the news was announced publicly.

"Numerous phone calls and meetings took place and, if leaks did occur during that process, they did not come from us."

If you'd like to sign the Trengrouse staff petition, visit: www.change.org/p/cornwall-council-save-trengrouse-nursing-home