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Council to take over care home in bid to tackle delayed discharges

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West Berkshire Council is to take over a local care home in June in a bid to relieve hospital delayed discharges.

The 60 bed Birchwood home provides nursing and residential care for people with dementia.

West Berkshire leases the building and at present contracts Care UK as manager. Its contract ends in June, when the council will take over and use 10 of the beds for patients ready for discharge from hospital but who need long term placements arranged.

Cabinet member for adult social care Rick Jones (Con) told LGC: “The plan is for 10 beds to be used as a halfway house, which saves the NHS money.

“How that is done is a matter for negotiation with the [Newbury and District] CCG.”

He added: “The council faces a constant challenge to support patients when they are discharged from hospital.

“Whilst the council continues to face a challenging financial environment, adult social care is an area we are committed to investing in, now and in the future.”

Cllr Jones said the council was not dissatisfied with Care UK’s performance but “like other care providers it has struggled with recruitment somewhat and we have a slightly better record on that through offering better terms and conditions.

“The council has three other care homes and adding Birchwood will give us more flexibility.”

Care UK regional director Daniel Turner-Naylor said: “The contract we hold with West Berkshire Council to run Birchwood comes to a natural end in June this year.

“We understand that the council is not planning to re-let the contract and will instead be operating the home itself,” he said. ”Our priority now is to work with colleagues at council to ensure a smooth handover of the management of the home.”


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