Without so much a press release – we unitary councillors had asked for one – Shropshire Council has put the running of Four Rivers Nursing Home out to tender at a price of £24 million over ten years.
Shropshire Council is not trying to save money. It is simply fanatically wedded to the idea that all services should be commissioned, not run by the council.
I am concerned about this move. We have seen a number of care and private health operations across the country struggle and fail. Shropshire Council will not in the future have the capacity to intervene or rescue a nursing home if a contractor goes into administration or does not deliver a quality service.
Four Rivers is essential to our town. The best thing that could happen now is that our local GPs form a consortium to bring Four Rivers within the scope of future health provision in Ludlow and the surrounding area. I’d hate to see a multinational company take over a facility that cares for elderly Ludlow people as they approach the end of their lives. We need a local solution.