Call for smaller care homes

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In the wake of the forced closure to new residents at a care home in Ipswich, a Hadleigh councillor has suggested smaller homes might be better run.

Mary Munson, Babergh district councillor for Hadleigh, complimented the old Angel Court care home in Hadleigh, closed following Suffolk County Council’s decision in 2012 to privatise their homes.

One of the newly-built alternatives for Hadleigh residents was Asterbury Place in Ipswich, built by Care UK as part of contract from the council to build 10 new care homes, in a transfer of council services to the company. This saw the closure of many smaller council homes.

Concerns brought up at a recent safeguarding visit have meant the Ipswich home has been closed to new council residents.

Mrs Munson said no families or residents had come forward to say they had been affected by the closure and believed most residents from Angel Court had gone into private homes in Hadleigh.

“Angel Court had been an establishment in Hadleigh for a number of years,” Mrs Munson said. “Highly thought of in the town for its standards, on the whole it employed local people and I know it makes a lot of difference.

“It was revered because it was well run, a high level of care was there. But there were only 28 beds there and sometimes they do say small is beautiful.”

Mrs Munson felt perhaps the level of service was not as high at larger homes, calling it a “nationwide issue”. Asterbury Place in Ipswich has a capacity of 80, currently housing 55 residents.

Mrs Munson believed Care UK was to meet Suffolk County Council’s scrutiny committee in January, and hopes by then faults found by inspectors will have been rectified.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: “We have worked with Care UK to make sure that improvements are made swiftly and that they are embedded in their practises.”