Suffolk: Care homes set to be sold off by county council
SUFFOLK’S 16 council-run care homes are to be offered for sale to the private sector – but no final decision on their future is to made for another nine months.
The county’s cabinet yesterday agreed that international financial consultants KPMG should look for new operators to take over the council’s care homes.
It approved a paper which rejected proposals to close all the county’s care homes – but portfolio holder for adult and community services, Colin Noble, said the fate of individual homes would not be decided until next February.
That is when a new paper is due to be brought before the council which will contain specific proposals for the future of the homes.
Mr Noble said that since 1991 the number of council-run care homes had fallen from 33 to the current 16.
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Out of 2,900 people supported by the county in care homes, only 526 were residents in council-run homes – the rest were in private-sector homes.
However he accepted the question marks over their future caused anxiety for residents, their families and staff.
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Answering a question from Labour group leader Sandy Martin, Mr Noble said he could not give any guarantees about the long-term future of the homes – that would be the subject of another paper to be considered next February when the results of the KPMG exercise had been completed.
An original proposal to sell off ten of the homes and close six which would have difficulty in meeting the necessary criteria has been rejected at this stage and the county is hoping to transfer all the homes to new operators.