Local authority to take back Bupa-run care homes

Powys County Council has agreed in principle to back control of 12 Bupa run residential care homes when their contract expires next year.

The council’s cabinet has agreed in principle to the development of a local authority trading company to run the homes, the Abergavenny Chronicle reports.

Councillor Stephen Hayes, cabinet member for adult services, said: “The decision to commission Bupa to deliver our residential care on our behalf was the right choice at the time, and they have successfully delivered a high level of care over this period of time.

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“However, the financial and demographic pressures alongside national and local policy drivers mean that the council’s current provision of residential and nursing care would not be sustainable in the future. The current model would not deliver the required levels of service within available resources.

“This option has considerable potential and is in line with the council’s commissioning approach and the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014.

“Retaining the current workforce is a high priority as the skills and experience of the highly trained staff will give a continuity of care and support for our residents in Powys. The council and senior managers from Bupa will work together to speak to staff, residents, families and carers about any issues or concerns they may have over the council’s decision in the coming months ahead.”

The news comes as the debate on how to best to run and finance care homes intensified this week following the publication of a report stating social care provision was at breaking point (see Social care at tipping point).

Poole Council announced plans this month to develop its own care home arguing private care was too expensive (see Council plans own care home saying private care is too expensive).

The Powys council-owned residential care homes have been run by Bupa Care for the past 15 years.

Commenting on this week’s report, a spokesperson told the BBC that Bupa was “surprised” to hear of the council plans in the local media.

The spokesperson added: “No final decision has been made and the council will take the next few months to review arrangements and decide what to do next.”

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