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London council to save £12m from buyout of 25-year care homes PFI contract

A London borough has bought itself out of a long-term PFI contract in a move expected to save £12m over the next 12 years.

Southwark Council agreed the original deal with Anchor in 2000, under which the company rebuilt and refurbished four care homes in the area.

Anchor has provided care services in the homes and will continue to do so, even though the contract has been terminated.

The company has agreed to allow Southwark to complete the repayments early. This will save the council around £930,000 in fees.

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Southwark will take on ownership of the buildings and responsibility for repairs and maintenance.

Catherine McDonald, cabinet member for adult social care and health at Southwark, said: "The council's original deal with Anchor meant the borough got improved facilities in four care homes, but the 25-year contract signed back in 2000 does not reflect the current and future levels of demand for residential care.

"As a council we are increasingly supporting people to stay independent in their own homes and communities, delaying or avoiding the need for residential care where possible, which is in line with what people tell us they want. This deal will save the council a significant amount of money whilst maintaining the service we provide residents."

McDonald added: "Residents should not notice any change in the service they receive. Anchor will continue to provide the same care services to the same residents in the same homes. But the deal releases substantial sums of money back to the council, which we can use to further support the borough's residents.”

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