Suffolk: Two care homes have their suspension lifted - nine still barred by county

TWO of the 11 care homes whose contracts with the county council were suspended earlier this month have been re-instated, it has emerged.

The county’s scrutiny committee was told yesterday that contracts could be suspended for a number of reasons – but residents would only be moved out if there were immediate concerns about their safety.

Social services manager Sandra Clennell told the committee that the type of issues that could result in a suspension were the way medication was administered or the failure to have a robust enough risk assessment policy in force.

The fact that 11 homes had been suspended showed that the monitoring was effective, and since the report was published there had been further inspections which had led to the number of suspensions being reduced.

If an inspection showed major concerns that caused immediate concern for the health and safety of residents, they could be moved out – but officials were aware this could be very traumatic because for residents it would mean moving out of their home.

The county’s assistant director of adult and community services Peter Tempest – who is also chairman of the Suffolk Safeguarding Board – said that the vast majority of residents receiving help from private care providers were satisfied with their situation.

He said when there were problems they could either be marginal or catastrophic.

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The less major issues could often be resolved fairly quickly and with little disruption to the lives of care home residents.

Committee chairman Colin Hart said the committee was looking at the way care was monitored in Suffolk – not at the standard of care provided in the county as a whole.

However it was important that members of the committee understood the kind of issues that monitoring bodies like the county and the Suffolk Safeguarding Board had to deal with.

And he warned that the council had to be aware that relatives with people in care could find that experience in itself emotional – and lead to unfounded concerns.

He said: “We have to ensure we are fair to care providers as well as residents and their families and hear all sides when issues arise.”