Birmingham considers sell-off to fund privatisation

The Birmingham care homes battle moved into its latest phase
last week with news that the council is considering selling one of
its homes to fund its privatisation of residential care.

In the latest development, Birmingham revealed that the total
costs of the transfer could be anywhere between £750,000 and
£1.7 million, including consultancy support, communication,
procurement and administrative costs.

Some of these costs could be met by the sale of Minworth Grange
older people’s home, according to a report discussed at last week’s
meeting of the council’s social services committee. Castle Vale
Housing Action Trust is building a residential and nursing home
less than half a mile away and has expressed interest in a possible

“The Minworth Grange site could be sold to Castle Vale as it is
a crucial piece of land which Castle Vale would wish to include in
its redevelopment,” says the committee report.

A spokesperson for the social services department said:”It would
be negligent of the council not to explore whether this is a viable
option for the existing residents.” The council’s social services
and health advisory team has agreed to consult with the

Birmingham Council wanted to transfer 30 residential care homes
for older people to an independent trust, because it could not
afford the £30 million needed to improve the homes in line
with the National Minimum Standards for Care Homes.

However, the plans were threatened in February when a residents
action group applied for an injunction to halt the transfer until
the outcome of an application for judicial review is known.

The injunction hearing in the high court is expected to take
place within the next month.

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