Care home must not be axed - MP

SUFFOLK MP Dr Daniel Poulter has added his voice to demands that the county should reject any thought of closing Lehmann House care home in Wickham Market.

The home is one of six across Suffolk that the county council is considering closing as part of a package of measures aimed at trimming its social care budget.

However, after visiting the home at the weekend, Dr Poulter called on the county to remove any threat from Lehmann House.

He said: “Providing high-quality care for the elderly, and especially those with dementia, is a growing problem in Suffolk.

“In rural areas of our county, and particularly in the Wickham Market area, there is already insufficient nursing home provision in either the NHS or in the hands of private healthcare providers, and that is why it is so important that Lehmann House stays open. The future of Lehmann House is about people, not money, and I will do all I can to ensure it has a viable future.

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“Of the options provided by the county council, the only viable one, in my opinion, is to sell the home on to another care provider who would continue the good work of the staff at Lehmann House.”

A final decision on the fate of the homes is due to be made next March. There are three options for the council’s 16 care homes:

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n Closing the homes and buying in services from the private sector.

n Selling off all the homes as going concerns.

n Closing six homes and trying to sell off the remaining 10.

County councillor with responsibility for adult care Colin Noble welcomed Dr Poulter’s intervention and said: “The process is at an early stage and in fact we will be visiting Lehmann House to speak to staff, residents and their families first.

“I am delighted Dan has taken the trouble to visit the home and will be happy to discuss his concerns with him and if he thinks it can be transfered as a going concern that would be great – nothing is set in stone at this stage.”

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