Suffolk: Care home closures to be ‘slow process’
CARE homes under threat in Suffolk will not close before the end of next year, it has emerged.
The county councillor with responsibility for adult care, Colin Noble, said any closures would be “a slow process” to take account of the fact they were dealing with people’s homes.
Suffolk County Council owns and runs 16 care homes which it would like to see closed or transferred to other operators. It is reviewing all the homes – but has said six homes appear to be unlikely to be attractive to other operators and could close once the review is over.
The review is due to be presented to councillors in March next year and they will make the final decision on the future of the homes.
However, Mr Noble said it could take many months to find new homes for residents.
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He said: “It would be a slow process. We are very mindful it is people’s homes we are dealing with and we want to cause the minimum upset – so we will be working with families and carers on any changes.”
It was likely that if there were any closures, they would not be completed until the end of next year – although that depended on how easy it was to find residents suitable new homes.
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Staff at the care homes, especially the six seen to be under threat, have told of the strain of not knowing about their future.
One staff member, who asked not to be named, said: “Most of us are very dedicated to our work and the people we are supporting. We don’t want to move on – but with the uncertainty over the future, people are looking at other job opportunities if they come up.”
Mr Noble accepted it was human nature for staff to look for other jobs – but said the county would ensure every home was fully staffed until the last resident moved out. He said, if necessary, other staff would be brought in to replace full-time carers who found other jobs.