Northamptonshire County Council is taking on responsibility for the delivery of care services at four care centres in the county.
The four care homes (Turn Furlong in Northampton, Spinneyfields in Rushden, Thackley Green in Corby and Longlands in Daventry) were part of a 25-year contract with Shaw Healthcare for the build and operation of four specialist care centres. The contract was due to run until 2029, at which point the centres were due to transfer to the council.
Following negotiation an agreement has been made with Shaw to vary the contract so that going forward they will only be responsible for the buildings themselves, with the council now taking on responsibility for providing care and staffing for the remainder of the PFI contract.
The care homes were originally built to provide short-term specialist nursing, rehabilitation, respite and dementia care for older people over 65. Longlands was then changed through a contact variation in 2013 from short-term care to longer-term nursing and dementia care.
Adult social care needs have changed significantly since the contract began. Today increasing numbers of people with more complex needs are able to return home with support after a hospital stay, rather than go into short-term care, and best practice shows that this means people are more likely to regain their independence. At the same time, those who do need bedded nursing rehabilitation, reablement or short-term dementia care now have more complex and greater needs than the original contract presumed.
Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for adult social care Councillor Ian Morris said: "Adult social care needs have changed significantly since the original contract was first agreed, and we have been looking at all options to find the best way forward so we are delighted to have been able to work collaboratively with Shaw to come to this agreement
"Through this agreement we will have flexibility and control over how the four specialist care centres are used to meet the needs of local people and they will be a key part of how the new unitary councils support people requiring short-term care and support in Northamptonshire."
MP for Northampton South Andrew Lewer said: "I am delighted that Northamptonshire County Council and Shaw have reached this agreement. This will help to ensure that the council can be more flexible in how it supports people in Northamptonshire who need short-term care so that it is better able to meet modern social care demands."