EXCLUSIVE: Row erupts after Outstanding home cancels charity contract

A row has erupted after a recently rated Outstanding care home cancelled the contract of a befriending charity.

St Peter’s House cancelled the Young People of the Year (YOPEY) programme shortly before its Outstanding rating in November (see Suffolk care home celebrates Outstanding CQC rating).

Tony Gearing, the founder and chief executive of the Young People of the Year (YOPEY) charity, told the East Anglian Daily News: “I was delighted we had contributed to St Peter’s success and, given that the results of the CQC’s inspection had been revealed after the owners’ initial refusal, I wondered whether they would think again.

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“What really disappoints me is that not once have the owners of St Peter’s thanked the young people for contributing to their business’s success. I also think there will be many residents’ families upset when they realise the children are no longer visiting.”

The scheme has seen 30 young people visit the home over the past two years but was dropped when it came up for renewal in October.

Responding to Mr Gearing’s comments, a County Care Homes spokesperson told CHP its decision not to continue with the project had been on a commercial basis and due to his preference to run his charity on a ‘Gentleman’s agreement’ basis, which its auditors could not accept.

The spokesperson added: “The  success of St Peter’s House is down to our own much valued staff and not due to something Tony Gearing may have done. Accordingly, we do not accept he had any effect upon our CQC rating. The rating system just does not work that way otherwise any other care home which he may be associated with would also have an Outstanding rating.

“We have many wonderful links with schools and colleges and all are welcome to visit St Peter’s House and see Outstanding dementia care. We will continue to provide the very best dementia care and a wide variety of daily  activities to all our resident guests.”

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