A convent run nursing home on Burlington Lane is facing closure because of new government regulations on the care of the elderly.

Despite offering excellent facilities the home will be required to house patients in single rooms. At the moment some residents do have their own room but the conversion of the rest will cost £1.5 million. The Order is not endowed with significant assets and cannot sell land to meet the cost. The conversion has to be completed by 2007.

The option of raising the fees payable by residents has been ruled out as they wish to keep the cost down to remain in keeping with the ethos behind the founding of the home. St Mary's is increasingly having to accept people who are self-funding or from other boroughs as Hounslow Social Services Department will not pay the fee of £370 per week for the residential units and £485 for the nursing home. There are currently 12 Hounslow funded service users at St. Mary's, the majority of whom are in the nursing home.

St Mary's Convent and Nursing Home is in the parish of St Nicholas Chiswick, but is independent and is run by the Anglican Sisters of the Society of St. Margaret. The Society was founded in in 1855 by the priest and hymn-writer John Mason Neale for nursing the sick poor and it took over St Mary's in 1910. Outside activities are organised every week as well as regular events which are open to the public. Visitors are always welcome.

Inspectors have praised the high quality of care at the home noting that the low turnover of staff means that residents are cared for by people with whom they are familiar.

The prospect of closure is to be discussed at the Chiswick Area Committee on Thursday 13th December. As lottery funding is unlikely the use of Section 106 money is to be considered.

St. Mary's Convent and Nursing Home

December 11th, 2001