My Response to the Privatisation of Care Home Services

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Isn't it time that local county councillors started taking their responsibilities seriously?

Their decision to sell-off Suffolk's care home services to Care UK has been a disaster. First they closed Angel Court in Hadleigh without consultation - and not a peep from local elected representatives.

Now, a home in Mildenhall has been found out, neglecting those in it's care just six weeks after opening. Vulnerable older people were left hungry, thirsty, ignored and in soiled bedding as a result of what Care UK calls 'teething problems". Seriously.

Meantime, it's website claims - "All the teams at the home are passionate about delivering quality care that's as individual as each resident." What complete tosh - on some shifts there weren't sufficient staff to be called a team.

Care UK has a national reputation for cutting the wages of care staff - new and experienced alike. It bids for contracts on precisely that basis - squeezing those who do the difficult and demanding frontline work. Conservative councillors are content to sit and applaud this - congratulating themselves, no doubt, on making savings.

Many people know that Suffolk County Council is fully signed-up to scrapping public services wherever possible. Fewer probably realise that the head of Care UK bankrolled Conservative former Health Minister, Andrew Lansley's private office, and it's now structured by its private-equity owners to enable long-term dodging of UK corporation tax.

So, Suffolk care workers are being ripped-off, alongside Suffolk taxpayers and HM Treasury by Care UK's abysmal failures to care for our vulnerable older people. Suffolk County Council has been taken for a ride.

It's time to recognise this and call a halt. I have to ask however, are they up to it?

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