Closure puts care home places in doubt

TWENTY-THREE elderly and vulnerable people living in care homes in Nayland and Long Melford face uncertain futures.

Shares in Southern Cross, the country’s largest care home company, were suspended on Monday as the firm looks to find new owners after previously announcing trading difficulties.

The company runs Barleycombe, a 24-hour care specialist and general needs care home for people with learning difficulties, which is set in six acres of land in Sudbury Road, Long Melford. Fourteen residents live there.

The firm also runs Nayland House, off Bear Street, Nayland, a residential care home specialising in elderly and dementia care for 54 residents, with some staying on a permanent basis and others for short periods of time.

This week, Suffolk County Council, which supports 23 people placed in the two homes, is reducing the amount paid for residential care by four per cent in 2012 as part of its budget savings.

County councillor Colin Noble, portfolio holder for adult and community services, said: “While we are unable to make any promises on behalf of Southern Cross, we can assure people that we will continue to provide support.

“All the homes are now being transferred to the landlords who have been asked to set out proposals for the future of their homes as soon as possible.

“We are fully committed to providing our help and expertise, wherever it is required, during this process.”