DISTRESSED relatives of vulnerable care home residents have said it is “outrageous” after they were given just 12 days to find alternative accommodation for their loved ones.

Asher House, in Third Avenue, Walton, is managed by Sentimental Care Asher Limited and will close on Friday.

The care home, which was rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission, has now been taken over by Quantuma LLP and put into administration.

But despite being responsible for elderly people who suffer with dementia and need specialist care, employees, relatives and residents were only informed it was closing last Monday.

Residents now have until Friday to be re-homed.

The granddaughter of an 89-year-old woman, who has lived at Asher House since July, has slammed those responsible for the closure and lack of notice.

She said: “It is really quite shocking because there are vulnerable people there.

“I don’t believe they have exercised a duty of care and it is outrageous people can get away with this.

“My grandmother has dementia so it can take her a while to get settled.

“This will be traumatic for her and she is really upset. This is really stressful for my parents because there just isn’t enough time.”

One of Asher House’s senior care managers has been working at the home for 16 years

She said the residents were upset by the closure.

She added: “It is so shocking and it has happened so quickly.

“It affects everyone from the residents to relatives, friends and staff, and it is just not nice at all.

“The residents are really upset and it is going to be hard.

“I have been here for 16 years and none of us are sure why this has happened.”

Essex County Council, which helps fund some of the residents’ care fees, said it tried to negotiate a longer time frame in which to move residents with the administrators but an agreement couldn’t be made.

A spokesman said: “Essex County Council has no control over the closure of this home.

“We understand this is a short time frame, however, despite our many efforts to agree with the administrators a longer timescale, this has not been possible.

“As always, our priority is the wellbeing and safety of the residents.

“We will now work closely with the residents and their families and support them in moving to safe, suitable accommodation of their choice.

According to administrator Paul Zalkin, the closure is a result of financial losses and a “limited appetite for small, older, loss-making care homes.” Mr Zalkin also added the company’s investor was unable to continue funding the home’s trading losses and the quick closure is due the owners’ inability to continue paying wages and running costs. Mr Zalkin said: “The time available to complete the wind down is a function of the absence of funding to continue paying wages and the home’s overheads.

“With barely any time available, my concerted efforts to identify an investor to rescue the home did not bear fruit.

“Regrettably, a managed wind-down of the home was the only remaining option.”