A Cardigan nursing home which had been the subject of a damning report by inspectors in February but appeared to be improving has announced it is to close in a matter of weeks.

Bridell Manor Nursing Home, near Penybryn, was reported as showing “major improvement” following an unannounced visit by the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) in May after the February report, following an initial CIW visit in December, had warned of significant failings “with the risk of harm to the health and welfare of people”.

However, the home’s owners, Ashberry Healthcare, wrote to residents’ families on October 4 informing them that the home was to close.

In the letter, seen by the Tivyside, the Buckinghamshire-based care firm said: “It is with great regret that due to protracted shortages in nursing and care staff we have had to make the difficult decision to implement a planned closure of Bridell Manor Nursing Home.

“We appreciate that our decision will come as a shock and will be upsetting and disruptive.”

A lack of trained staff had been identified as one of the areas of concern back in December, but following the CIW’s second visit, the watchdog had praised an increasing staffing levels, saying “staff morale was much improved”.

However, the company has claimed that staffing levels and recruitment difficulties had continued to be at the core of the home’s difficulties.

In a statement, issued through Hywel Dda Health Board, a spokesman for the home said: “As a responsible care provider, we conduct regular reviews into the sustainability of all our care homes to make sure we can continue to deliver high quality care with the appropriate number of trained staff.

“Bridell Manor has faced a long-term recruitment challenge which has left us unable to staff the home to appropriate levels. Despite our best efforts to attract qualified carers and nursing staff to the home, we have been unable to solve this recruitment challenge. As a result, and for the safety of all the residents living at the home, we have made the difficult decision to close Bridell Manor Nursing Home.

“We are seeking to retain many of our dedicated staff members at our other nearby homes, and they will be fully supported by our HR team throughout this process.

“We understand that this will be difficult news for everyone at Bridell Manor. We are working closely with all the relevant authorities to support residents throughout the closure process and to help find them a new care home in which they will be happy.”

There are approximately 20 residents at the home who are provided with nursing care, including those with dementia care needs.

The health board said that it was work closely with local authorities and the care home, residents and their families to find suitable alternative care and placements.

An official date for closure has not yet been announced but work to secure alternative care and placements has already begun. The Tivyside understands the closure could be as soon as November 8 or earlier.