Contract signed to rubberstamp care-home sale

NOTTS County Council’s controversial sale of Jubilee Court old people’s care home in Hucknall to a private company has taken a major step closer.

The home, off Nabbs Lane, is among six across the county for which contracts with Runwood Homes were exchanged this week.

The council claims the sale, which is designed to cut public spending, will mean a £9.4 million boost for elderly care.

It marks conditional completion of the deal, which includes a guarantee that the homes will stay open and fees for existing residents will remain at agreed county council rates for a minimum of three years.

A spokesman said all employees at the homes would transfer to Runwood on existing terms and conditions.

Critics claim that the transfer could mean a lower standard of care for the homes’ residents.

But the county council spokesman said: “The homes will continue to be subject to exactly the same inspection and regulation for care standards as they are at present.”

Final completion is expected next month when Runwood Homes will formally take over ownership and management of the homes.

All extra services in the homes, including 45 care beds provided in partnership with Primary Care Trusts (PCTs), will be retained after the transfer.

“Since agreeing the transfer last September, the county council and Runwood have been drawing up legal agreements for the transfer and a detailed implementation plan,” said the spokesman.

“Throughout, residents and their families, employees and stakeholders have been kept informed about the progress of the transfer and what it will mean for them through regular meetings and newsletters.”

The county council’s cabinet member for adult social care, Coun Kevin Rostance (Con), of Hucknall, said: “I am delighted that the transfer of Jubilee Court and the other five homes is now nearing completion.

“The transfer represents an excellent outcome for the county council, its employees, residents of the homes and the future of older persons’ care in Nottinghamshire.

“Residents and their families should feel reassured that the care will continue seamlessly. They will pay the same fees to be cared for by the same staff in the same homes.

“Runwood is showing its long-term commitment to not only maintaining but improving care standards in Nottinghamshire.”