Family’s fury as gran with dementia is evicted from care home


Yvonne Williamson, 82, leaving the home

Yvonne Williamson, 82, leaving the home (Image: Lorne Campbell)

The care watchdog said it was powerless to ­prevent Yvonne Williamson, 82, being turfed out of the £1,100-a-week facility.

Mrs Williamson, who cannot speak, had to leave despite the objections of care ­professionals, who argued it would cause her huge distress.

Daughter Penny Hutchinson, 55, said: “Safeguarding issues have been raised by the home – not the family. We have been given no logical explanation and are left thinking a decision made by someone who never met mum wants issues off the register to make their lives easier.”

Grandmother-of-three Mrs Williamson’s eviction from Summerfield House, run by Bondcare in Halifax, West Yorkshire, shocked her carers and came despite pleas for clemency from Calderdale Social Services, specialists, the NHS which funds the care and the family itself.

Penny, her sister Sally Fletcher and brother David Williamson, wanted their mum to remain at the home because of her relationship with carers.

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Yvonne Williamson with her family Penny, David and Sally

Yvonne Williamson with her family Penny, David and Sally (Image: Lorne Campbell/Guzelian)

Today they were forced to collect her belongings and move her after a five-and-a-half year stay. Her carers were in tears.

The eviction was served on March 21 giving the family a statutory 28-day notice period. It was delayed while experts argued her case.

They repeatedly said it was not in the best interests of Mrs Wiliamson, a former GP receptionist, to be moved given her fragile health. After meetings and interviews they remain baffled by the decision.

Penny said: “I have reduced my working hours so between the three of us we can visit mum three times a day to help with her care.

“Our presence means when issues occur, we notice, obligating the care home to raise a ­safeguarding issue with the local authority.

“However, our presence has also meant many safeguards have been avoided. For example, we make sure mum has plenty of fluids.

“Some people might ask why stay there. It’s ­simply because mum is familiar with the home and the carers and therefore professionals deem remaining there to be in her best interests. She has advanced dementia and can’t speak and has to be assisted with eating, drinking and ­washing.

“The continuity of care she receives is critical. Her face lights up when she sees some of her carers.” Bondcare says “creating a warm and friendly environment is a key part of our philosophy, ensuring we treat everyone with sensitivity and respect”.

Yvonne hugging her grandchildren

Yvonne hugging her grandchildren (Image: Williamson Family / Guzelian)

In a letter to Calderdale Social Services, seen by the Express, and titled “notice of contract ­termination”, it said: “We have highlighted that we feel duty bound to our staff who no longer feel able to support and care for Yvonne at Summerfield House and that this decision has not been made lightly.”

Summerfield House, a residential care home providing nursing and personal care for up to 107 people, is rated as “requires improvement” by the CQC.

After its latest inspection the CQC published a damning report detailing how residents “were at risk of harm as the provider had not always identified, assessed or mitigated risks” and “medicines were not always managed safely”.

It added: “The last rating (published July 15, 2022) was ‘requires improvement’ and there were breaches of ­regulation. The provider ­completed an action plan after the last inspection to show what they would do to improve.

“At this inspection we found the ­provider remained in breach of regulations.”

The CQC said the service was not always safe, effective or well-led. Penny said: “I wrote to the CQC asking it to urgently intervene and [chief inspector of adult social care] Kate Terroni told me there was nothing they could do.

”Assessments carried out by the local integrated care board, Calderdale Council, the social services deprivation of liberty team, and safeguarding experts all jointly confirmed the home was able to meet Mrs Williamson’s needs, and expectations of her care were reasonable.

These were carried out after the eviction notice was served. As Mrs Williamson’s children packed her belongings yesterday it was clear carers were unaware of the move and were left shocked and tearful.

Diane Mayhew, Rights for Residents Campaign Manager at Care Rights UK, said: “The family have been let down by everyone they turned to for help. They have a paper trail of everything from the Integrated Care Board, the CQC, local authority and social workers – all of whom said that it wasn’t in Mrs Williamson’s best interest to be evicted.

“It’s an absolute travesty and I can’t believe this is allowed to happen with no consequences to anyone other than the resident and her ­family. It’s disgraceful families are being ­punished for safeguarding issues raised
by the home.”

A spokesman for the home said: “The relocation of a resident is a matter of last resort. In this instance, the demands of the family were so great, there became a breakdown in trust, ­leaving staff feeling vulnerable and at risk.”

Amanda Partington-Todd, deputy director of adult social care at CQC, said: “It is not ­acceptable for people to be treated unfairly if they raise concerns.

“Appropriate action will be taken if we find providers failing in their responsibilities.

“The CQC does not have power to intervene in decisions providers make to issue a ‘notice to quit’. But we do review how providers handle complaints when looking at how responsive and well led a care home is.”


Moving into a care home is a massive adjustment, both for the resident and their family. Giving up their home, possessions and independence causes anxiety and heartbreak.

It takes many months to settle into this new and often alien way of life. Over time, deep bonds are formed between residents and the staff who care for them daily, with many becoming an extension of the family.

To then be forced into a further unplanned move is nothing short of barbaric.

For young and old, disabled people and those affected by dementia, strokes and other cognitive impairments etc, a sudden move can have catastrophic effects.

Thrust into an unknown environment, with a change of carers and routine, many simply shut down. Many relatives are too nervous to raise concerns around the quality of care, as the threat of eviction is ever present.

What kind of society are we living in where vulnerable people have no right of tenure and can be turfed out of their own home with no right to redress? The regulator claims it’s powerless to stop these evictions. In March we contacted the CQC for help with Yvonne’s case.

Their response was alarming: “We do not have the regulatory authority to prevent eviction notices being served, however we expect providers to act with integrity, should this be the case. If Summerfield House Nursing Home is adamant the notice stands (and it is valid) CQC have no powers to force them to withdraw it.”

The power to decide seems to reside with the care provider. This indicates a dangerous power imbalance.

While some notices are due to the home struggling to meet needs of residents, too many are used to silence those raising safeguarding concerns.

The sector is in crisis and instead of scoring political points, politicians from all parties must ensure the rights of the most vulnerable are protected.

  • Jen Morrison is Rights for Residents co-founder

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