Consultation on the future of Ridgway House Care Home

Closed 19 Nov 2023

Opened 23 Oct 2023

Feedback updated 23 May 2024

We asked

During October and November 2023 we launched a consultation to seek views from all stakeholders including residents and residents' families about the future options for Ridgway House Care Home in Towcester.

This was to review the current and future uses of the home and to enable decision makers to understand the impact of any decision that is made on the future running of the home.

We also engaged with those affected most, by any future decision, by visiting the home to have a more in-depth conversation about the options available for the home in future.

The options consulted on were to either make no changes to the home and continue as it is, or to commence with a safe closure programme of the home. There was no option to update the building or facilities to a standard that would meet the current Minimum Care Homes Standard.

You said

There were 187 responses to the consultation, of which 181 people submitted responses online.

Amongst the online responses: 63 per cent were members of the public, 12 per cent staff, 11 per cent residents or their families.

Summary of responses: 

All responses from the people who have experienced life at Ridgway House commented on how satisfied they were as a result of the quality of care they had received.

The top aspects of a good quality care home identified by respondents were:

  • People being treated with respect and dignity
  • Feeling safe
  • Staff being helpful and caring.
  • The quality of food and drink available
  • Having privacy when wanted

When asked questions about the two proposed approaches for the future of Ridgway House, the responses are summarised as follows:

  • Approach 1 – No change: There was a slight preference towards agreement with this proposal, with the strongest preference coming from residents and their families; the most frequent reason cited for this was to avoid disruption for the residents and for them to remain close to their families. However there was a general recognition across respondents whether they agreed or disagreed with this option that the facilities in the home need to improve.
  • Approach 2 – Safe closure programme: Responses from all groups of respondents showed a preference towards disagreeing with this as an option; this was on the basis that it would cause disruption for residents, families and staff, and also because there is a lack of alternative care provision in the Towcester area. Again however there was a general consensus from responders that facilities within the home need to improve to support the people living there in future.

We did

All responses were considered along with a review of the options available, with the recommendation put forward to Cabinet is to close Ridgeway House Care Home as part of a safe closure programme whilst also responding to the concerns raised by responders to the consultation.

The decision to close the care home as part of a safe closure programme was made at Cabinet Tuesday 16 January 2024 (Item 102, WNC Cabinet, Tuesday 16 January 2024).

The Council has continued to work closely with the residents of Ridgway House and their families to find suitable, alternative accommodation, much better suited to their needs, and have supported them throughout this transition.

Related information: Consultation Analysis Report


We are reviewing the current and future usage of the residential care service at Ridgway House in Towcester which is wholly-owned by the Council.

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) wants to be able to ensure it is in a position to offer high quality care which continues to meet the changing needs of its residents both now and in the future.

The home has 35 rooms, however, the first floor is not accessible to people with care and support needs and subsequently the registration of the home has had to be reduced to 25 rooms. The design of the building means that the facilities available within the home are unable to meet the needs of an increasing number of people who require residential care. Similar to other care settings the home has also experienced recruitment challenges and has been carrying a significant number of staffing vacancies for some time.    


Ridgway House is located within a residential area in Towcester and is currently home to 19 residents.

The building is over 40 years old and whilst it would have been compliant at the time it was built it would not meet today’s Care Quality Commission (CQC) accessibility of facility requirements for new build care homes. There are no ensuite facilities, reduced accessibility for wheelchairs and hoists. Added to this it not possible for the home to be improved because of the disruption it would cause existing residents whilst work is undertaken, and because of restrictions due to its location it is not possible to increase the size of the home.

The home requires increasing intervention just to maintain it as a safe environment. A condition survey in 2020 highlighted that to maintain the home at just a basic habitable standard would require a minimum investment of approximately £1 million over the next 10 years.

The top floor of the building cannot be used because of Health and Safety risks in particular around safe evacuation of residents in the event of fire, in addition to this the environment does not support the safe care of high needs residents.

Infection Control audits carried out by CQC have highlighted challenges with environment and stated the home is very dated/tired looking and identified a number of holes in walls and the corners of walls damaged causing them to be porous.  

Added to this there is insufficient space for the environment to be improved or increased in size.

The number of people who need registered care home provision has remained at a consistent level over the years. However the needs of people in registered care homes today are more complex with an increasing number of people requiring nursing care, rather than the residential care which Ridgway House is registered to deliver.

Whilst the work force is skilled and able to meet these more complex needs the environment and buildings limit the ability to meet these high needs or vary the CQC registration.

We are seeking views from stakeholders on the future for Ridgway House to enable decision makers to understand the impact of any future decision that is made.

We are also interested to know how you feel about living at Ridgway House if you are a resident.

The future

We would like to understand the impact of allowing the current position at Ridgway House to continue or what the impact would be if we commenced with a safe closure programme of the home. Further details on each of these courses of action is outlined within the questionnaire.

How to have your say

Please could you take about 15-20 minutes to tell us your views on the options put forward for Ridgway House by completing this questionnaire. We would welcome your views on future proposals for Ridgway House by:

  • Completing the online questionnaire by following the link below

You do not have to answer all of the questions. If you don’t want to answer a question, or don’t know the answer, then move on to the next question.

You can ask a friend, relative or an advocate to help you complete the questionnaire, but please remember that it is your views and your experiences that are important to us, rather than the views of anyone that helps you.

If you have any questions about the consultation, need assistance to complete the online questionnaire or would like a copy of it in another format (including paper or large print) you can contact us by email, post or telephone. Our contact details are as follows:


Postal address:

  • Consultation on future of Ridgway House 2023
  • Assistant Director – Safeguarding & Wellbeing Services
  • West Northamptonshire Council
  • The Guildhall 
  • St Giles' Square
  • Northampton
  • NN1 1DE

Telephone:  01604 361002

This consultation closes at midnight on Sunday 19 November 2023.

For information about how consultation and engagement responses are managed, please see the consultation and engagement privacy notice.

What happens next?

All responses will be considered and will help inform any future decision making process. Your feedback will be part of a report with other people’s feedback, so you will not be personally identified.

Thank you for helping us by completing this questionnaire.


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