Sue Ryder blames trust for closure of care home

Anita Pati

Sue Ryder Care is to close a care home next month because it claims that a primary care trust reneged on a promise to support its move to a specialist neurological centre.

Steve Taylor, marketing and communications director of the charity, said it had spent £450,000 converting its Snettisham care home into a specialist unit after North Norfolk PCT agreed to refer patients there.

"We put a business case together and they agreed," said Taylor. "We'd started to increase the staffing levels and move towards the point where we'd be accepting PCT referrals that would be fully funded for specialist neurological care.

"By September last year, the PCT had still made very few referrals - then it announced it was not prepared to make the referrals."

Diana Clarke, chief executive of North Norfolk PCT, said: "We never got to the point of establishing a contract with the charity as we felt we could only go on a cost-per-case basis. The heart of this is patient choice - patients will choose where to go. And their care homes are expensive."

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