Councils buying up nursing homes? We don1t think so!
|By Geoff Hodgson| Local authority strategies for the direct provision of nursing home services have drawn strong criticism from the independent sector, and the legality of such provision has been questioned. In January, Caring Times reported that Hampshire County Council was planning a Â£60 million project to create and manage 500 nursing home beds on a number of sites across the county, with central government and the strategic health authority providing two thirds of the start-up capital. It now emerges that Kent County Council is planning much the same thing albeit on a smaller scale. Speaking at a conference in mid-January organised by market analysts Laing & Buisson, Kent County Council’s director of operations Oliver Mills said his council planned to purchase a nursing home with health authority funding. “Kent has the problem of local authorities in Greater London placing people in Kent nursing homes at prices higher than we can afford,” Mr Mills said. “As capacity has shrunk, we have had to make some