A care home for people with special needs will remain open for the time being after families launched a legal challenge.

Hft Sussex announced in August that it was to close because of “unsustainable” finances, but families said there was no consultation on the closure and launched a legal challenge.

Solicitors at law firm Irwin Mitchell wrote to charity Home Farm Trust, which runs 24 care homes across the country, stating that it could face a judicial review in the High Court.

Irwin Mitchell said because of the lack of consultation before making a decision, the closure would be breaching residents’ rights under the Human Rights Act.

The Argus: Inside HfT Sussex's groundsInside HfT Sussex's grounds (Image: Supplied)

Hft has now reversed its decision and said the care home, which is in Walberton, will remain open, while a consultation is held with residents and their families about the future of Hft Sussex.

Emily Church, public law and human rights lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the families, said: “The reversal of the decision to close Hft Sussex is a victory for the residents and their committed families.

“For the residents, Hft Sussex is their home and this case demonstrates how important it is for the needs and the views of residents to be taken into account. A proper consultation should be undertaken before any major decision that will have a significant impact on the lives of vulnerable people.

“Finding new homes would have proved difficult within the three month timescale given, and Hft’s withdrawal of the decision to close Hft Sussex gives the residents and their families some breathing space.

“There is a clear legal requirement in relation to what steps need to be taken prior to a decision to close a care home. This was not met here. We are pleased that this has been recognised by Hft and that the decision to close has been withdrawn.


“Hft has instead agreed to prepare a consultation and our clients and the other residents are ready to engage with this process.”

The Argus first reported on the situation facing the care home’s 23 residents back in September.

This is not the first time families have come together to secure the future of a Hft site.

In August, families in Hft Wiltshire saved it from closure after the charity announced intentions to pull out in 2020 after a public row with Wiltshire council over funding arrangements.

A spokeswoman for Hft Sussex previously told The Argus: "The majority of commissioners have agreed to our request to revoke the notice we served, and as such we have stopped all closure plans while we consult.

"Currently we are agreeing a consultation process and will confirm this with people we support, their families and commissioners as soon as possible.

"We are fully committed to ensuring the consultation is meaningful and we would not be in a position to confirm any future outcome for Walberton until the process has been concluded as we would not want to pre-empt our decision in any way."