Southend is protecting the elderly, vulnerable and front line services.
There should be no discernable change in the standard or care for residents, we are doing everything we can to protect the standards we expect for them, indeed we are getting far firmer about where we will support residents, as being in a good quality home can make a lot of difference as time goes by.
A misleading article in last weeks Echo (Friday) features a gentleman Mr Gelfand and has the headline-
‘Care homes threatened by Southend Council cuts’
I must question this, his comments and also why the Echo ran the story without checking it out and without carrying a balancing comment.
Firstly for the facts- yes we are asking homes to accept a 5% cut in the fee we pay for each Southend funded resident. Southend has to achieve very significant savings and it is considered that we have to pass some of the reduction on.
Southend officers have held consultations with both care homes and their professional body. The letter sent to the care homes folloiwing those consultations can be read Here
Southend officers have made it very clear that if a home feels that the 5% cut will result in difficulties or a loss service for our residents they may come to the officers for their position to be considered- we would of course expect to see their accounts in these circumstances.
Southend officers have found a number of cost saving inititiatives that they have passed on to the care homes which should facilitate the saving for example-working closer together and bulk purchasing.
Now Mr Gelfand attended the meeting and is well aware of this and the report that went to Cabinet also states this.
Mr Gelfand’s care home is part of a larger group which, I am informed, posted a significant profit last year, yet it is still not achieving the standards that Southend expects for its residents and Southend officers have actually had to assist this home to raise its standards.
We now only place residents in the better performing homes, but we do not insist that residents already placed in less desirable accomodation move.
We are also asking the managers of our own care homes to achieve similar if not higher savings.
No home that is open and honest with us and can demonstrate that they really cannot do anything to save money will be subjected to the 5% cut.