Whitstone House in Dereham will be closing down after nearly 40 years of caring for people with autism and complex needs. 

The reasons for its closure, according to a spokesperson on behalf of Autism Anglia, include financial constraints and recent falling standards of the property. 

"We have taken the difficult decision, in partnership with both Norfolk and Suffolk local authorities, to close Whitstone House. 

"There are many different factors that have led us to make this difficult decision which includes, but is not limited to, the environment and standard of the property, ongoing maintenance costs and financial losses that the charity can no longer sustain," a statement said.

It added: "We appreciate this is a difficult time for those this directly impacts, including families and their carers."

Whitstone, on Norwich Road, has been a home for people with autism since 1985, when it was originally opened by the Norfolk Autistic Community Housing Association.

Currently, the home, which is now managed by Autism Anglia, houses eight adults.

Eighteen months ago, the home received a "Requires improvement" rating from the Care Quality Commission.

Inspectors had written: "People lived in a poor environment which had not taken into account their safety or promoted their dignity."

The report stated the staffing issues had seen the home regularly rely on agency workers, meaning they did not have the chance to get to know the complex needs of the residents.

It read: "We were not assured agency staff working unsupervised at night would have enough understanding or training to meet people's needs or understand how to communicate effectively as that takes time with this client group.

"A lack of provider oversight meant we could not be assured if people were treated well."

It led to its operators pledging to make improvements.

Whitstone House was previously rated good in 2019.

The families involved have been informed of the home's closure.