Portsmouth councillors happy with costs of £7m to run care home

A COUNCIL will spend more than £7m in two years after picking a new organisation to run a failing care home.

Wednesday, 18th July 2018, 4:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th July 2018, 4:58 pm

The finances of Harry Sotnick House, in Buckland, Portsmouth, were put before Portsmouth City Council at this month's health and wellbeing board.

The report showed the local authority will spend £3.4m in year one of the running of the home and £2.4m in year two.

It is thought £2.4m will be the average annual running costs after the initial two years.

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As well as the annual running costs, Portsmouth City Council will also pay an additional £3m in the first two years.

As previously reported in The News, the home for people under the care of Portsmouth City Council, in Cranleigh Avenue, was put in special measures earlier this year by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after inspectors found a number of problems.

The home was run by private company Care UK on behalf of the council at the time of the inspection.

After the CQC report was published, Care UK's contract was terminated and councillors chose Hampshire County Council to run the home.The report said the home will now have 92 beds for residents under the care of the council, more than when it was run by Care UK.

It said: '˜The council previously had a budget that was sufficient to meet the service payments to be made to Care UK for 62 of the local authority beds.

'˜Under the agreement Care UK was able to sell the remaining beds to private self-funded clients at no cost to the council.

'˜The budget now needs to meet the needs of running a 92-bed facility.'

Speaking at the health and wellbeing board, chairman Councillor Matthew Winnington asked if the local authority had the funds for the home.

He said: '˜Have we got money within the reserve to recover these costs?'

A council officer replied the council has got the provisions needed.

Cllr Winnington added: '˜I am happy with the report and the finances.'

Councillor Luke Stubbs, a member of the board, asked about the annual running costs.

The council officer said: '˜Currently, the model shows that expected level of around £2.4m a year.

'˜There a number are number of initial assumptions as the transition of the operation by Hampshire County Council has taken place and we have been reviewing and updating that model as progress.

'˜We will be working with Hampshire to identify the most efficient methodology.'

Portsmouth City Council chose the county authority to run Harry Sotnick House in March following its background in running other homes.

Of the 10 it looks after, eight are rated good by the CQC.

Another reason is because while the city council operates residential care homes, it does not operate residential care homes with nursing and does not have experience of homes in special measures.