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Venture could run care homes

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 22 October 2010

Care homes currently run by Suffolk County Council will be taken over by a new private-public company if councillors back an official recommendation. The proposal for a so-called joint venture company would see management of the 17 homes under the authority's control taken on by a newly-appointed board.

Care homes currently run by Suffolk County Council will be taken over by a new private-public company if councillors back an official recommendation.

The proposal for a so-called joint venture company would see management of the 17 homes under the authority's control taken on by a newly-appointed board.

Councillors and officials have been discussing the future of the county council's care home stock since January, when the authority announced it had to find savings in every department, including £14.5m from the adult care and community services (ACCS) budget.

And with a key decision on the way forward for the county expected on July 13, the council's ACCS scrutiny panel met yesterday to study the proposals.

A report to be presented to Suffolk's cabinet on July 13 will put forward three possible alternatives and list the pros and cons for each.

A partnering contract between a private company and the county council would be a simple option and generate little bureaucracy, but does not allow much flexibility.

A joint venture company would be run by a strategic board, made up from representatives of the private company involved and the county council. This would be a more flexible option, but would be more complicated and costly to set up.

Setting up a charitable trust to run the homes would have similar advantages in flexibility, but the lack of profit could limit the amount of money available to invest in improvements.

Scrutiny committee mem-bers asked for assurances that if control was handed over to company, that standards would not drop and staff would be protected.


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