Karen Allen

I fought South Shields at the May 2010 General Election for the Conservatives, gaining a 6.4% swing which was a 4% vote increase. The Conservatives polled 7,886 up from 5,207 in 2005. I was born in the North East and grew up in South Shields. I currently live in London and am employed as a Director at Lloyd's Broker Howden International.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Council Care Homes Marked for Closure

The Gazette has highlighted this, but after being contacted by the very concerned mother of a resident at Connelly House, I did also want to mention this. Connelly House in Whiteleas is the town's only dementia dedicated care home - across both the public and private sector - it, with another two council run care homes, are threatened with closure. This is despite Connelly winning three stars for service excellence and its residents being very settled and happy in the facility.

As I understand the threatened closures are as a result of cost saving analysis, which highlighted the high costs of goods and services procurement for the homes. As many private homes are run with considerable profits (although I do acknowledge there are 200 vacant places in South Shields' private homes), I do think this we can question the efficiency of the Council procurement for care homes. I have been told that food bills for supply of certain items - by council approved suppliers - are as much as three times that of the retail price in Asda.

If all three homes were to closed this would also mean the loss of more than 100 jobs. We are all living longer than ever before, so I would have expected more care homes in South Shields and not less.... Or is it the staff are expected to find employment in privately run homes instead? Interesting policy for a Labour Council I must say.....

http://www.shieldsgazette.com/news/Tory-joins-fight-to-save.5999514.jp

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