Ipswich: Son’s fears over fate of care homes

IPSWICH: A 100-year-old care home resident today faces an anxious wait as uncertainty looms over the future the county’s services.

Steve Wood’s mother Greta, who is registered blind, has been looked after for a year at Crabbe Street residential care home in Ipswich.

Crabbe Street, rated excellent by the Care Quality Commission rates, can accommodate 31 people with dementia.

But the future of the home and 15 other centres run by Suffolk County Council for more than 500 residents is in doubt.

The council aims to reduce the cost of providing residential care by transferring services to the private sector, voluntary bodies, or new “social enterprises”.

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Consultants KPMG, which offered the council its services for free, said Crabbe Street costs more to run than many comparable independently run homes of a similar quality in Suffolk, due in part to its smaller size.

But Mr Wood, of Humber Doucy Lane, Ipswich, said: “This is of great concern to the many of us who are worried about what it means for our loved ones who have a wonderful home here.

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“It would have a disruptive effect on them and staff. I can’t imagine her receiving more dedicated care under the alternative options outlined by the council.”

A petition has been launched at Crabbe Street in an attempt to prevent any threat to the day centre – but the county council insist there are no plans to change it in the near future.

County councillor with responsibility for adult services, Colin Noble, said: “The point of this consultation is to take time to meet with carers, residents and their families and explain the situation.

“We know there are independent care homes out there that are just as highly rated as ours, but provide an equally warm and loving service for a lower cost than we currently spend.”

n Do your relatives use the county’s day centres and other services for the elderly? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or you can e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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