NEW funding proposals may halt the closure of a nursing home in Guisborough.

Last month, Barry Parvin, the proprietor of Graceland, announced his intention to close the home, blaming the situation on staffing problems.

He said Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and Langbaurgh Primary Care Trust, which are responsible for 14 and 37 of the residents respectively, were not paying enough money for him to pay his staff above the minimum wage.

If Graceland closed, it would leave the residents, most of whom suffer from dementia or Alzheimer's disease, without homes and about 60 staff without jobs.

On Tuesday, a meeting was held between Langbaurgh Primary Care Trust, Redcar and Cleveland Council and private care home providers about funding.

Langbaurgh PCT chief executive Jon Chadwick said: "It is a common problem right across the market that needs to be addressed. We cannot make a special deal with Graceland; it's got to be right across the board.

"We have put some ideas and a firm proposal of more money on the table for all the private home owners to think about.

"They have also provided us with some ideas and we all went away to consider them."

Mr Chadwick said that the trust had a good nursing care scheme, but it had to work within a set of national rules.

"We are talking about changes to the funding programmes. However, we have to make sure that any changes made will not make it harder for the care homes," he said.

"Certainly the changes we have put forward will put more money on the table for Graceland and the other homes."

He said that staffing was a big problem at Graceland and, during the six months notice of closure, there would probably be increased shortages. Staff would be available from the trust's nursing bank to fill spaces when needed.

Maurice Bates, Redcar and Cleveland director of social services, said the authority had lost a number beds from the private sector in the last year.

He did not want to see Graceland close and hoped agreement could be reached between all parties over the funding proposals.

* See page 3 for a report on what could happen to

residents if the home closes