Council leader's plea to care homeowners

THE new leader of Suffolk County Council has called on care homeowners to show improvements in their services as the threat of a fresh bed-blocking crisis continues.

THE new leader of Suffolk County Council has called on care homeowners to show improvements in their services as the threat of a fresh bed-blocking crisis continues.

Cllr Bryony Rudkin said improvements in both quality and flexibility were not being noticed in care homes despite in council funding of £500,000 this year.

Cllr Rudkin said: "We are pouring money into the sector and need to see real improvements in both the quality and degree of flexibility of care services being provided by care home owners, which is simply not being evidenced to anywhere near the level of costs incurred by the council in uplifting fees.

"We need to make sure staff have the right skills and the size of rooms in care homes are adequate.


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"Training is also an issue of concern, for instance making sure staff are allowed to take time off work to train."

Cllr Rudkin admitted there were 13 homes in the area, which were unwilling to accept new placements from the council at a rate of £385 per week.

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But she refused to describe the situation as critical despite west Suffolk MP Richard Spring fearing the county's second social care crisis in just two years.

She added: "Both the county council and Mr Spring are absolutely concerned about the welfare of the people and their carers.

"But our dialogue with the care home owners is always ongoing. We are actively encouraging them to think of ways to diversify and create more flexible forms of care."

Mr Spring said: "It is very important because if the council are not willing to stump up the money to independent care homes, they will refuse to take people in Suffolk.

"There are plenty of people from London they could take for example."

Mr Spring had originally voiced his concerns in a letter to Cllr Rudkin saying: "It would be absolutely unacceptable if we were to have another social care crisis in the county within the space of two years.

"I am determined that my constituents will not suffer as a result of this. This is not a problem which will go away – it needs both an urgent response and proper long term strategic planning which, in turn, requires sustained resources.

"Additionally, having gone through a wholly unnecessary bed blocking crisis in the county, we are seeing the successes which have more recently been achieved.

"There has been a reduction in the number of people in delayed discharges in hospitals but it is starting to rise again."

A meeting between the county council and care homeowners is now being planned for next month .

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