Confusion over future of care homes as new provider announced

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Some of Suffolk's care homes could close when a new provider takes over from Suffolk County Council.

The council has named Care UK as its preferred company to manage its 16 care homes and eight wellbeing centres.

Care UK has committed to build 10 new care homes but would not comment on how this would affect the existing homes.

Councillor Colin Noble said it was "absolutely possible" that some of the 16 would be closed.

Mr Noble, portfolio holder for adult and community services, said: "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."

Staff currently employed by the council will be transferred to Care UK.

'Specialist care'

Mr Noble said staff and residents at the existing homes would be consulted about the proposed changes but he could not guarantee all of the homes would remain open.

"We need to look at the provision that is there at the moment, look at what Care UK are proposing in terms of how they're going to invest hundreds of millions of pounds into Suffolk, and then we need to sit down and work out what we need to plan for in each of those communities.

"We've got to plan for the future and how we're going to provide more care homes for more people in the future."

Care UK said it would not comment on details of the plans as a contract was yet to be signed.

Toby Siddall, Care UK's residential care services managing director said: "We are delighted to reach the final stage of this opportunity to work in partnership with Suffolk County Council.

"We look forward to completing the outstanding discussions with the council so that we can start getting to know the residents, relatives and the teams that deliver the services in the council's homes today."

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