Councillors agree to transfer care homes to Sanctuary

Cllr Andrew Virr

Plans that will see the freehold of 14 care home sites transferred to Sanctuary Housing Association to support its acquisition of Cornwall Care have been approved by councillors.

As reported on Friday, Cornwall Council councillors were being advised to accept plans to dispose of the properties to help pave the way for the deal, which is now expected to go through this summer.

Cabinet member for adults and public health Cllr Andy Virr said: ‘Through this deal, facilitated by the council, Sanctuary will be providing significant investment to modernise the homes.

‘It will also ensure that all staff working for Cornwall Care are paid at least the Foundation Living Wage in recognition of the invaluable job that they undertake with investment in training, skills development and career progression opportunities.’

Cornwall Care operated 16 settings providing over 645 residential and nursing beds across the county until earlier this year when it decided to temporarily shutter three settings, resulting in the reduction of 111 beds. Financial indicators around working capital and indebtedness were ‘trending adversely’ for three years, forcing it to temporarily close the homes.

Of the 16 care homes, 15 are leased from the council, which owns the freeholds. Only one site is owned by Cornwall Care – Cedar Grange in Launceston. Proposals include the council to retain the freehold of one site, leading to the transfer of the freeholds of 14 care homes.

Cornwall Care said the decision represented ‘an important milestone’ in the plan to expand and improve the provider’s provision.

A spokesperson said: ‘Sanctuary’s board will meet on Wednesday 29 June and Cornwall Care’s board on Thursday 30 June. If both agree to progress the deal, further legalities will take place over the coming weeks. An announcement will be made once that process is complete.’