A nursery located five minutes from Homerton Hospital has announced they will close at the end of August, leaving hospital staff and parents struggling to find nearby alternatives.
Clients of the Roundabout Nursery, Kenworthy Road, E9, were shocked by a letter from the Hospital Trust team last week announcing that the service would shut at the end of the summer.
The Trust stated that the nursery is forecast to make a loss of £132,000 this year due to new rental and overhead costs. It is already running at a financial loss, and NHS funds for patient treatment are used to support the expense.
Private clients make up the majority of people using the nursery facilities. At present, hospital staff benefit from favoured access and reduced fees at the nursery, though only 24 out of 3000 staff use the nursery services.
Homerton Hospital Chief Executive, Nancy Hallett, said: “We have looked at means of reducing the cost of running the nursery, and at increasing fees. However, the size of the financial gap is such that we do not see this as an option.
“We currently support Homerton staff by providing information and advice on a range of childcare matters, and this will increase in the coming months. We offer our staff flexible working hours and paid carer’s leave and this will continue.”
Roundabout Nursery opened in 1991 at the nurses’ home at the old Hackney Hospital and cared for the children of local NHS staff. It re-launched in 2008 to also cater for parents and children in the local community.