By MARK BOGGIS
Thursday, April 19, 2012
The future of 16 council-run care homes remains in the balance – despite a deal being struck with a private company to build 10 new facilities.
The homes run by Suffolk County Council are facing rebuilding or closure after the authority’s cabinet backed a major shake up of residential provision this week.
The county’s 16 residential homes – which include three in Waveney at The Dell in Beccles, Blyford and Stradbroke Court in Lowestoft; Wamil Court in Mildenhall; Paddock House in Eye and Ixworth Court in Ixworth – are to be transferred to Care UK.
The Colchester firm was given approval to build the new homes but it is unclear whether some or even all of the existing homes will be closed or demolished.
Portfolio holder for adult and community services, Colin Noble, said the company had undertaken to build 10 new care homes with between 60 and 80 beds.
It would then have a total of 680 beds in Suffolk, compared with the 526 beds currently in county council-run homes. Of these, 370 would be specialist beds for people suffering from dementia.
Mr Noble added this did not mean all the existing care homes would necessarily be replaced by the new homes as the final decisions still have to be made.
He said: “This is good news. This whole process was about identifying a provider that would bring the necessary expertise and investment into Suffolk. Care UK is nationally recognised as specialists in dementia care with a proven track record of meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in society.”