New operator for Ely care home after Southern Cross collapse

CARE services at Ely’s Lily House have been transferred to a new provider after the collapse of Southern Cross.

Frail residents at the Lynn Road facility had faced an uncertain future after fears the firm’s demise could leave them homeless.

Their future has now been secured after care arrangements for all six Southern Cross homes in Cambridgeshire were transferred to new providers on October 1 - but worries still persist about the viability of some care services across the county.

In a statement about the situation, Councillor Martin Curtis said: “Care has continued to be provided by the same staff and homes managers without disruption.”

However the cabinet member for adult services revealed that three Cambridgeshire care homes and one care home agency were judged to have safeguarding or quality issues.

And two care home agencies with less than 50 service users each have financial viability or management issues, he said.

“There are ongoing concerns that arose before July 2011 with two home care agencies and seven care homes,” he said.

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“Officers from the County Council and Cambridgeshire Community Services continue to monitor the quality of services provided and progress against improvement action plans agreed with providers.”

Reports on providers causing concern will now be submitted to the County Council’s Director for Adult Social Care once a month.

Cllr Curtis said the details of those reports would remain hidden from the public because of “commercial sensitivity” but that concerns about the quality of care would be shared with regulators such as the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

“The CQC now publishes press releases when they issue a formal warning to owners of any care home or care agency,” Cllr Curtis said.

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