Suffolk planning for future care needs

It’s been a busy couple of days, on Tuesday I announced the preferred bidder to take over the 16 Suffolk County Council Care Homes in the SCC cabinet meeting and have done quite a lot of media interviews since.

The key as we navigate the incredibly complex procurement process has always been to make sure that we discuss our thoughts with Residents, their families and carers and staff first and everyone else second, yet at the same time there is a legal framework that has to be worked through.

As was to be expected following the announcement the press were keen to know the answer not to the question where will the preferred bidder be investing and building new homes but where might be closing.  A reasonable question but one that simply can’t be answered yet, but I did make the point somewhat repeatedly that when that is fully worked through the very first to know will be residents, their families and carers and staff.

Throughout this process uppermost in my mind has been the fact that whilst they might be SCC’s Residential Care Homes, to those who live there it is their home and I have at times been dismayed at the lack of sensitivity to that, in some of the comments others have made. No one is more aware of the cocners of residents and their families and carers than myself and our officer team, that is entriely naturally and right and proper but in the visits I undertook to each and every home to discuss our thoughts, we explained why we need to change the way we provide and over the next few months I shall be keeping a promise I made to go back and to explain, in person, what we are doing.

Personally I thing this is great news, the Preferred Bidder – Care UK is an extremely well respected provider and the level of investment I will be able to confirm in the coming months is a good leap along the path we as a county need to take to make sure over the coming years we are providing the sort of facilities we would all want for our loved ones and ourselves.

Since we started this process, over the past couple of years I have heard a lot of words spoken by those opposed to SCC us no longer being a provider, much of it lacking rigour and I think some of that nonsense has been extremely worrying for residents and families.

This change will bring about delivery of new homes and an increase in the capacity particularly the higher needs end of residential care; something that we most definitely will need here inSuffolk. We simply do not have the capital needed to do this as a Council ourselves.

Above all else it seems to me that the role of the Council must always be to make sure we plan for our ageing population, deliver services as cost efficiently as we can so that we can help the maximum number of people and how we can be there to make sure standards are upheld, maintained and improved.

As the council stops being a direct provider it will be able to focus its attention on making sure that if you or I need help and support as we all grow older the County Council is there to protect us now and in the future. Along side the coming announcements we will be talking about the councils future role to help shape the quality we would all want for our loved one, ourselves included!

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal, anything I write is promoted by Lance Stanbury on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Park Farm Cottage, Fordham St. Genevieve, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 6TS

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