Beccles care home could be sold to private sector

A care home in Beccles could be offered for sale to the private sector –but no final decision on its future will be made for another nine months.

The Dell residential home on Nelson Way is one of 16 county council-run care homes which could be run by private operators.

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet agreed on Tuesday that international financial consultants KPMG should be given the go-ahead to look for new operators to take over the care homes, which also includes the Blyford Residential Home, in Blyford Road, Lowestoft; Stradbroke Court, in Green Drive, Lowestoft, and the Dell residential home in Beccles.

Members approved a paper which rejected proposals to close all the county’s care homes, but portfolio holder for adult and community services, Colin Noble, said the fate of individual homes would not be decided until February.

That is when a new paper is due to be brought before the council which will contain specific proposals for the future of the homes.

Mr Noble said that since 1991 the number of council-run care homes had fallen from 33 to the current 16.

Out of 2,900 people supported by the county in care homes, only 526 were residents in council-run homes – the rest were in private-sector homes.

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However he accepted the question marks over their future caused anxiety for residents, their families and staff.

Answering a question from Labour group leader Sandy Martin, Mr Noble said he could not give any guarantees about the long-term future of the homes – that would be the subject of another paper to be considered next February when the results of the KPMG exercise had been completed.