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Council looks to transfer care homes to private sector

PUBLISHED: 11:18 11 February 2014 | UPDATED: 11:18 11 February 2014

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Cost cutting proposals for 20 council run care homes include five in North Devon and Torridge.

DEVON County Council is going out to consultation this week around proposals to transfer 20 of its residential care homes to the private sector.

The proposals include Burrow House in Ilfracombe; Beech House in South Molton; Fairlea in Northam; Lydiate Lodge in Lynton and Oakwell in Bickington.

The move comes just days after the announcement of consultations on cuts to youth services and the closure of day care centres around the region as the council reviews its services.

Councillor Stuart Barker, the council’s cabinet member responsible for adult social care, said: “At this stage we want to talk to residents and their families and others about the options.

“We continue to be fully committed to funding residential care for those assessed as needing our support.

“This is not about removing a service. We’re not changing eligibility, so those who are entitled to residential care will continue to receive it. This is about where people receive that service in future.”

Private sector care homes currently account for around 85 per cent of people whose care is publically funded by the council, and council-run homes for 15 per cent.

The council has been talking with charities, voluntary groups and private sector providers about how it will meet the growing demand for residential care in future.

Cllr Barker added: “People’s comments will help us decide how we take this forward. If we decide to cease providing residential care ourselves and instead to use the private sector, any change would have to be made over a period of time, on case by case basis that is sensitive to people’s needs.

“It’s clear, from talking to charities, carers and private care home owners, that although there are a small number of areas where the care home market needs development, overall there is plenty of capacity in the private sector, and that they can provide it at less cost to the council.”

To find out more about the proposal and to take part in the consultation, visit http://new.devon.gov.uk/residentialreview.

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