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  • "A couple of questions arise out of this, Why is it so much cheaper to transfer to a private home? Since when was care in the private sector better? What control will anybody have over care home charges when there is no alternative? It looks like the Tories have privatised the council out of existence."
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Blackburn with Darwen care pledge as elderly ‘go private’

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Local government reporter

CARE boss for Blackburn and Darwen Mohammed Khan has promised every resident moved from the four council old people’s homes facing closure will have a personal care plan to smooth their transfer to the private sector.

He promised that none of them would shut before October this year and only when residents had been found a place in the two new extra care plus developments being built in the borough.

Coun Khan pledged that the state-of-the art residential facilities being built in the borough over the next three years will provide a better quality environment for current and future residents.

He said: “We will be speaking to service users and their families and carrying out formal assessments, so every resident will have a care plan that identifies their needs and how they want us to support them through any move from their current home into a new home.

“Some residents may choose to move as a group with their friends and we will support them to make that happen, linking this with the new developments for older people’s care in the borough over the next two and half years.”

He was responding to concerns about the transfer and about possible reductions in home care services and increases in charges. Coun Khan revealed that the cost of a council run care home bed can be twice as much as that charged by the independent sector, permitting £1m saving per year if the four homes were to close.

Chief Executive Harry Catherall said: “The independent sector already provides 85 per cent of all care home beds for older people in the borough and is better placed to offer high quality accommodation that is sustainable over the longer term.”

“Consultation will start in February before a final decision is made in March.”

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