Reprieve for care homes

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SUFFOLK County Council’s care homes have been given a reprieve.

The authority has dropped an option to close all 16 of its facilities following a three month public consultation.

Instead, bosses have recommended to the county’s cabinet on May 24 to move ahead with a proposal to stop directly running the homes.

It will seek expressions of interest from a range of organisations, businesses and community enterprises including its own staff in a bid to reduce costs and secure a future for the homes.

The move would save the authority £4 million a year.

Homes affected include Davers Court and Glastonbury Court, in Bury St Edmunds, Ixworth Court, in Ixworth, Wade House in Stowmarket and Wamil Court, in Milenhall.

Options put forward during the consultation process were to close the homes and buy alternatives from the private sector, sell the homes as ‘going concerns’ and close six homes early and transfer the rest to the private sector.

Following the consultation, 53 per cent of people favoured selling the homes as ‘going concerns’.

Cllr Colin Noble, portfolio holder for adult and community services, said the authority could no longer afford to run the homes due to government cuts and needed a new way of providing care for older people while ‘protecting them from uncertainty’.

He added: “We are looking at what we think is the best possible option given the circumstances.”