Town needs more care beds

URGENT calls have been made for an increase in the number of care beds to meet the demand of elderly residents in a Suffolk town.Minister Care Management has lodged a planning application with St Edmundsbury Borough Council for a 53-bed home in the town's Haycocks Road, but bosses claim at least 146 beds need to be made available - 130 more than there are at present.

URGENT calls have been made for an increase in the number of care beds to meet the demand of elderly residents in a Suffolk town.

Minister Care Management has lodged a planning application with St Edmundsbury Borough Council for a 53-bed home in the town's Haycocks Road, but bosses claim at least 146 beds need to be made available - 130 more than there are at present.

A report commissioned by the firm concluded there is currently only one care home for the elderly in Haverhill - Swallows Residential Home - which is registered to provide personal care for up to 16 people. But it claimed there are 1,460 people aged 75 and above living in the town.

Haverhill town councillor Ernie Goody said more provision needs to be made for elderly people in the area, but said the land planned for the new home would be better served as a spot for a community building.


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“There are not a great deal of beds available for people at the moment so it is definitely something that needs to be looked into, although it is not just Haverhill that suffers from this problem, it is the whole area,” he said.

“People are starting to live longer than before, so a new care home is definitely something the town needs, but I think if the application were to get the go-ahead it would be in the wrong place.

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“That area of the town is lacking in amenities, and I think it would be much better if the land were used for a multi-purpose community building.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council, which is responsible for helping to find residential care or care in the community for elderly people, said he was not aware of a care-bed crisis, although admitted the council's acceptance of capacity issues.

The planning application will be discussed by councillors at a meeting on Thursday.

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