County council suspends admissions to 12 care homes across Suffolk

Mildenhall Lodge Care Home.

Mildenhall Lodge Care Home. - Credit: Archant

A total of 12 care homes in Suffolk are currently under suspension from the county council.

That means they are receiving no new residents paid for by the council – and the suspension will remain in force until council officials are satisfied that they meet minimum requirements.

A further two homes have had their suspension lifted over the last month.

Among the 12 currently under suspension are Care UK’s two new homes at Mildenhall Lodge, which has had new admissions suspended since the end of July after serious concerns were flagged up during an inspection by the Care Quality Commission, and Asterbury Place in Ipswich which had new admissions suspended earlier this month after an inspection by the authority’s safeguarding team.

The new figures were released yesterday to a full meeting of the council by cabinet member for adult care Dr Alan Murray.

Answering a question from Liberal Democrat councillor Inga Lockington, Dr Murray revealed the figure. The county buys 1,850 care beds and 790 nursing beds in 187 residential and nursing homes across the county.

In total there are 211 residential and nursing homes in Suffolk registered with the CQC.

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Dr Murray said the number currently under suspension is slightly higher than normal: “The average at any time is to have between seven and 10 homes under suspension.

“We work with them to address whatever concern it is we have. If there are homes that keep being suspended and coming out of suspension then we will work with the CQC to try to deal with any underlying issues.”

Earlier, in a response to a question from Green Party group leader Mark Ereira-Guyer, Dr Murray told councillors about the situation at Care UK’s homes at Mildenhall Lodge and Asterbury Place.

He said that after a meeting earlier this week the council was confident that the company was taking action to deal with the issues.

He said: “A small number of staff (at Mildenhall Lodge) had lost their moral compass.” He added this meant they had not worked with residents and their families in the way they should – and that the company had taken action to ensure there was no repeat of the problem.