County suspends care contracts

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NINE care homes have had their contracts with Suffolk County Council suspended following concerns about their services.

The affected residential homes will not receive new client referrals until standards have improved and the issues rectified.

Identities of the homes and the reasons behind their suspension have not been disclosed by the council.

A further two homes, where 12 county funded customers live, have been hit with Care Quality Commission enforcement notices.

The figures were revealed in a report presented to the authority’s scrutiny committee, which discussed issues surrounding the monitoring of the quality of care in the county.

In the report, Sandra Clennell, head of outcome and quality monitoring for the council, said: “There are a number of homes which present frequently with serious concerns and safeguarding issues.”

Speaking to the Bury Free Press, Cllr Colin Noble, portfolio holder for adult care, explained that issues could include food supervision, the conduct of staff or cleanliness at the home.

He said: “If there are a number of issues or the service does not improve quickly, the council will suspend its contract and work with the care provider to ensure the appropriate steps are taken. Only once satisfied the issues in question have been rectified is the contract activated again.”

On the identity of the homes, he added: “We don’t publicly mention the home or talk about what the issue is because these are people’s homes.”