Suffolk County Council will ‘remain vigilant’ about standards in care homes

Suffolk County Council headquarters; Endeavour House, Ipswich.

Suffolk County Council headquarters; Endeavour House, Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

County council chiefs have responded to criticisms raised about the state of care homes in Suffolk after it emerged nearly 50 of those inspected last year had failed to meet standards.

The EADT reported on Thursday that three more care homes had been rated inadequate by Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors in recent weeks, bringing the total number in 2015 to seven, with a further 40 deemed to be requiring improvement.

Sarah Adams, health and adult care spokesman for the Suffolk County Council’s Labour group, said the latest inspections showed the county council’s continued failure to fulfil its responsibilities and criticised the authority’s decision to take more money out of the system for care homes.

In response, Rebecca Hopfensperger, who is responsible for adult care at the county council, has highlighted the increasing numbers of care homes rated “good” in Suffolk, which she said had risen by 15 to 73 since the EADT’s last report on care homes in October.

She said the proportion of care homes failing to meet standards was similar to that reported in October.

“The council remains vigilant about the standard of care provided in care homes and continues to intervene to provide support and guidance to homes that are not meeting the expected standard,” she added.

Responding to criticisms about the county council’s involvement with the private sector over care homes, Ms Hopfensperger added: “We transferred 16 care homes to Care UK in December 2012, with a requirement for Care UK to build 10 new purpose built care homes to replace the 16 homes.

“All 16 care homes have since been returned to the council, and 9 of the 10 new homes are now open providing purpose built facilities for people with complex care needs, with Glastonbury Court due to open soon. The council is working with Care UK as the new services are established and to ensure that quality of care provided meets the required level.”

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