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Care homes to close as part of new plan for elderly
TWO residential care homes in Bournemouth are to be closed and another completely rebuilt as part of plans to meet the needs of the town’s growing elderly population.
Next Wednesday’s council cabinet meeting will be told that Care South, which operates five homes in the borough, is giving up its lease on Leybourne House in Northbourne.
Councillors will be asked for agreement on Care South surrendering the 40-bed Fearnes home in Knyveton Road after a new home on the Wickmeads site in Southbourne has been completed.
They will also be asked to authorise a new 150-lease for Wickmeads and extensions of the leases at Castle Dene in Throop Road and Templeman House in Leedam Road, Ensbury Park.
The proposed changes have come about as part of a review of Bournemouth’s residential care and nursing homes to make sure all are fit for purpose and can adapt to the changing care market.
Cllr Blair Crawford, cabinet member of adult services, warned: “If we continue with the type of homes we have now, we will not be able to meet the needs of our older population in the future, who will require more high need dementia care.
“It’s important that we work with our partners, including Care South, to review our homes and plan for the future.”
Simon Bird, property director of Care South, said: “We are pleased that the council is considering this carefully planned strategy, which is essential to make responsible arrangements to meet the care needs of our residents, both now and in the future.”
Care South chairman Felicity Irwin said there was a growing demand for dementia and nursing care in old age. “By no stretch of the imagination could any of the homes cope with nursing. They are old homes. If we have the opportunity to build new homes, so much the better.”
Chief executive Susan Willoughby said she expected Leybourne House to close in May. Care South will be working with relatives, staff and social services to make sure the 30 residents are found suitable alternative places.
“None of it is happening overnight. Templeman House is quite close and we are hoping for a transfer of staff. We are keeping everybody informed about what’s going on. Staff will be offered every opportunity to stay with Care South,” she added.
Plans for the new Wickmeads home have not yet been submitted, but it is expected to provide 50 places, 12 more than the current capacity.
Care South, formed in 1991 as the Dorset Trust, is a leading not for profit care provider with homes across the south.