Suffolk: Reprieve for threatened care homes

SIX closure-threatened care homes across Suffolk are set to be given a reprieve by the county council.

The county is today due to unveil what it plans to do following its review of care homes which took place over the winter.

And it is expected to announce that closure-threatened homes are likely to be given more support by the county council.

A county insider said it remained keen to transfer as many homes as possible to other operators, but recognised that there were a “core” number of homes that it would be difficult to transfer but which offered valuable services to their residents and the communities they served.

These are now likely to remain within the county council.


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Suffolk currently runs 16 care homes, and in a report published last October, it had come up with three alternative scenarios:

- Sell off all care homes to the private or voluntary sector.

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- Close all the homes and buy services from other providers.

- Look to sell of 10 of the homes and be prepared to close the other six.

The consultation period ended in January, and during the winter cabinet member Colin Noble and senior officers visited all the county’s homes.

The consultation brought a massive response, and the initial hope of bringing forward proposals to the March cabinet meeting had to be put off because of the amount of material gathered.

Of those who responded to the consultation, 84% wanted all the homes kept open – either after being sold off or remaining part of the county council which was not put forward as an option at that stage.

The future of the homes is to be discussed by the county’s cabinet at its meeting on May 24 – and the agenda for that meeting is due to be published today.

It is expected to recommend that the council goes ahead with trying to sell as many homes as possible – but recognises that for various reasons some of the homes would be difficult to transfer.

Rather than recommend these homes for closure, the council is likely to offer them more long-term support to ensure they have a viable future.

That would mean that they remain part of the county council for the foreseeable future.

Central Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter has two closure-threatened homes in his constituency, Paddock House at Eye and Lehmann House at Wickham Market, and has been leading calls for a re-think on closure threats.

He said: “If the county is offering more support to these homes it is fantastic news. It is what we have been calling for.

“It shows that the county council has continued to listen to the concerns of the people of Suffolk and the concerns of the professionals who work in these homes.”

The care homes that had been under threat:

Lehmann House, Wickham Market.

Ixworth Court, Ixworth.

The Dell, Beccles.

Wade House, Stowmarket.

Davers Court, Bury St Edmunds.

Paddock House, Eye.

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