Private provider interested in running Alderney care home

THE States of Alderney is in talks with a private company interested in running the Connaught Care Home.

Work to extend the Connaught Care Home was delayed by Covid lockdowns which pushed the cost up. (Picture by David Nash)
Work to extend the Connaught Care Home was delayed by Covid lockdowns which pushed the cost up. (Picture by David Nash)

The company is understood to have extensive experience running care homes in other British islands.

Alderney’s senior politician said discussions were at an early stage.

‘I can confirm that we have been approached by a provider who is interested in looking at care provision on Alderney,’ said Policy & Finance chairman Nigel Vooght.

‘At this stage, it is simply an exploratory approach from a third party who may be able to help deliver our priority of sustainable care for our older population.’

But the directors of the Connaught later prepared a statement stressing their commitment to affordable care and revealing that they had not yet been involved in talks with the company.

‘While the directors of the Connaught have now agreed to meet with representatives from this organisation, we wish to make it clear that our priority is for all of its services to remain affordable to all island residents,’ said director Norma Paris, in the text seen by the Guernsey Press.

Speculation had been increasing about the future of long-term care in Alderney.

‘Despite our best efforts, I am aware of the speculation in the community and acknowledge the anxieties that come with potential change and uncertainty,’ said Mr Vooght.

‘Should there be further interest, we would expect to receive a proposal which will be evaluated in depth.’

The Connaught has 27 bedrooms and an associated facility, the Jubilee, has 14 self-contained studio apartments for long-term and respite care. Both offer 24-hour care.

The Connaught is currently being extended to provide 13 new residential rooms. It was delayed by the Covid pandemic, during which costs increased, and in 2021 the States of Alderney had to pump another three-quarters of a million pounds into the project.

In Guernsey’s States meeting last week, Alderney representative Steve Roberts said work was under way to reform various parts of the island’s health and care services, though the Connaught was not mentioned.

‘As a responsible government, we are open to hearing from the private sector in respect of any States service where a different approach might be beneficial to us,’ said Mr Vooght.

‘The States has consulted with the Connaught Care Home board on this preliminary expression of interest, and we will keep the board fully engaged if discussions progress.

‘If a proposal emerges, we will continue to work closely with the Connaught Care Home and colleagues in the States of Guernsey to ensure that future provision is consistent with our vision of an integrated health model.’

The Connaught is run by a limited company owned by the States of Alderney, but has independent directors to operate the home on a not-for-profit basis.

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