THE future of a specialist dementia care home in Winchester is uncertain as a charity reviews its operations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

St John's Winchester says it is undertaking an operation review with a decision set to be made on Moorside on April 27.

Moorside is on Durngate and opened as a specialist dementia care home some 25 years ago.

In a statement released to the Chronicle last night, the charity, which operates a number of almshouses with 150 residents in the city centre, said closure was being considered.

The statement said: "In response to rumours in circulation that its St John’s Moorside care home may close, St John’s Winchester announces that the charity is carrying out a review of its strategy and operations in light of the financial and other impacts of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, including its care home providing nursing care to those living with dementia.

"The Board of the charity will meet towards the end of April to discuss some of these plans and at this point the future of Moorside continues to be considered.

"Relatives and representatives of Moorside’s residents and the home’s staff have been contacted to address the rumours."

St John’s chairman of trustees Roger Bright said: “I do understand that this is unsettling for staff and I am sorry that what are ongoing discussions, which have not yet concluded, should have come to light in this way."

Mr Bright added: "The charity’s finances are fundamentally sound, but review is required in order to ensure that our financial position is not undermined by the long-term impacts of the pandemic. During this time, the services and high standards of care and support our residents and beneficiaries receive from the charity will continue as normal.”

Clive Cook, charity chief executive, added: “The Board will consider various plans in late April and we will make a further announcement regarding our Moorside care home at this time once discussions have taken place.”

Mr Cook stressed that no outcome has been decided and the decision would be taken at the end of the month.

In 2016 the charity closed Devenish House on Southgate Street because its location in a Georgian townhouse was not fit for modern care. It was sold to a developer to be converted into flats. At that time care at Moorside was extended.

Moorside can currently care for up to 31 people. Its most recent inspection report by the Care Quality Commission rated it as good.

The weekly cost of living at Moorside, for self-funding residents, ranges from £995 to £1,255.

St John's is one of the oldest charities in the country dating its roots back 900 years.