Swanage care home closes after Covid crisis

Following the death of 16 residents from Covid, the care home Wordsworth House in Swanage has closed, after it was unable to financially recover.

All staff were given redundancy notices on Thursday 1st April 2021 and arrangements were made for the residents to move to other care homes.


The last day for Wordsworth House was expected to be Monday 31st May 2021 but after all the residents found new homes by mid-May, it was closed early. Many residents moved to local care homes in Swanage and others were able to move closer to their families in Poole.

Exterior of Wordsworth House

Windows have been boarded up at Wordsworth House

Badly hit by a coronavirus outbreak

Established over 30 years ago by the Weekes family, Wordsworth House in Belle Vue Road in Durlston was badly hit by a coronavirus outbreak in January 2021.

It was believed to have occurred after a resident returned from Poole Hospital and despite testing negative for Covid, later developed symptoms.

By the end of January 2021, 34 out of its 40 residents tested positive for coronavirus, along with 30 members of staff. The residents were due to get their Covid jab the week after the outbreak was discovered.

At the time, the operations manager and part-owner, Kellie Cooke appealed for help with staffing as the home struggled to cope. Sadly, 16 of the residents died due to Covid.

Exterior of Wordsworth House

Wordsworth House with sea views, commands a lovely position close to the Downs and Durlston Country Park

“It’s all incredibly sad”

Speaking to Swanage.News, the former manager of Wordsworth House, Erin Lock said:

“It’s all incredibly sad and the staff are devastated. I understand it was a financial decision to close, having lost so many residents.

“I’m pleased to say that all the residents have now settled into new homes and some were able to take the opportunity to move closer to their families.

“For the staff, redundancy has been very stressful, especially having been through so much together. But we’ve all found new jobs and were able to meet outdoors at Swanage Bandstand to say our goodbyes. It’s just so sad that it has all ended the way it has.”

Share this story

Contact us

Do you have anything to add to this story?

We like to keep everything up-to-date, so if you know more, please help us by getting in touch.


Top stories

RNLI treat injured woman on paddle steamer returning to Swanage A RNLI volunteer undertook a tricky manoeuvre to get back to his lifeboat in Poole Bay in Dorset after treating an injured passenger on the historic paddle steamer the Waverley. 3 weeks ago TV star backs RNLI campaign after terrifying ordeal at Durdle Door 4 weeks ago Tourist dies after medical emergency on Swanage beach 1 month ago New Swanage home for 130 year old loco saved from scrap yard 4 weeks ago Swanage family have lucky escape from night time blaze 1 month ago

Most recent

Swanage ice cream kiosk business up for grabs The chance to sell ice cream and snacks along Swanage seafront in Dorset is being offered to businesses, along with other opportunities on Swanage Town Council owned land including the ... 16 hours ago Empty nesters hope for return of Purbeck ospreys in 2024 2 days ago Time Team digs for answers about Iron Age Purbeck 3 days ago Swanage fete profits help disaster relief effort in Morocco and Libya 4 days ago Purbeck ploughs on with making homes greener 5 days ago