Strong support for Suffolk care homes to remain open

A CONSULTATION on the future of Suffolk's council-run care homes – including three in Waveney – has revealed that the majority of people want them sold as a 'going concern'.

Suffolk County Council wants to either close its 16 care homes or transfer them to other operators. Among those under discussion are the Blyford Residential Home, in Blyford Road, Lowestoft; Stradbroke Court, in Green Drive, Lowestoft, and the Dell residential home, in Nelson Way, Beccles.

The moves are is part of cost-cutting measures by the authority to save �125m over the next four years.

Respondents to the consultation were able to choose from three options put forward by the authority.

However, 31 per cent of the 1,000 people who responded rejected all three options and 53 per cent threw their weight behind the idea that the care homes should be sold to other providers as 'going concerns.'.

Only 10 per cent supported closing six of the homes – including The Dell in Beccles – and selling off the remaining 10 to other providers. Only six per cent backed moves to close all 16 care homes.

The Suffolk County Council said the homes' residents, their relatives, councils, health workers, politicians and special-interest groups were asked for their views as part of the consultation.

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Colin Noble, the council's portfolio holder for adult and community services, said: 'I would like to thank sincerely the people who took the time to come forward and give us their opinions on the future of Suffolk's care homes. Getting the views of residents and service users has been an essential part of this difficult process.

'There is still a long way to go until any final decisions are made – but I hope that by working with the community, we will be able to do the right thing for Suffolk as a whole.'

The results of the consultation will be put to the council's cabinet members on Tuesday(March 29). They will then make a final decision on the future of the under-threat care homes.

Last week, it emerged that there had been 28 'expressions of interest' in running the care homes.

At a meeting last Thursday, members of the county's scrutiny committee considered evidence about how the county should meet older people's accommodation needs.

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