Northamptonshire County Council has failed in a bid to buy itself out of an elderly care contract with Shaw healthcare.
The council’s stabilisation plan, which was published last month, revealed that it was spending up to £2m a year on the contract despite poor occupancy levels at the four care centres covered by the contract.
A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “£1.5m of the budget savings for 2018/2019 related to making savings by managing the Shaw PFI contract more effectively and potentially buying out the contract to improve the current occupancy and use of the four specialist care centres.
“While we have been in discussion with the Department of Health and Treasury we have not been able to progress a buy-out due to the technical treatment of PFIs. Instead we are now working with Shaw and the departments to improve occupancy through improved contract compliance while we look at longer term options to implement next year.”
The council’s stabilisation plan revealed that elderly care centres run by Shaw healthcare under a 25-year contract had been operating at below 30-50% occupancy for several years.
The contract entails the provision of 204 rehabilitation care beds at four care centres operated by the provider.