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Old folk rap care homes 'chaos'.

Byline: GARETH LEWIS

A COVENTRY pensioners' group has written to the government condemning the "chaos" surrounding care homes in the city.

In a motion approved at its last meeting, the Coventry branch of the British Pensioners' Trade Union Action Association (BPTUAA) vented its frustration about the dispute over council grants for private care homes.

The motion "condemns the privatisation and sale of council care homes", as well as the "expense and minimum level of care being experienced in private homes".

A number of private care home owners say they will have to evict elderly tenants because the council grant provided for them is inadequate.

But the BPTUAA criticises the care homes' stance, saying the threat of eviction is being made to "blackmail" the council into increasing grants.

Chairman John Parks said: "We feel that putting council people into private homes was never successful in the first place. You are mixing people who can easily afford it with those who can't"

"Council homes are essential. That doesn't mean there is no room for private ones, but they should be kept apart."

Mr Parks criticised some private care home owners for treating pensioners as "expendable commodities".

He said: "It is a situation that can't go on. It is chaos at the moment. One side blaming the other doesn't help.

"The private homes want and need profit, and there are some first-class homes, but others use agency staff and pay through the nose so they can get rid of them more easily.

"If they didn't do that, they would not have such high overheads, and good home owners are saying this."

The group has sent its demands to Chancellor Gordon Brown, social services ministers Alistair Darling and Alan Milburn, and to Coventry's MPs.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 22, 2001
Words:290
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