BOROUGH of Poole has agreed to build its own care home to combat the increased costs being charged by the private sector.

The home on land at Mitchell Road, Canford Heath, would be operated independently under a contract aimed at helping Poole's residents who are unable to fully fund their own care needs.

It would also allow the council to help shape the care market at a time when there is a shortage of suitable care provision in the local area.

The 80-bed care home would provide specialist nursing and dementia care built on the site of the former Care UK Mitchell House residential home which closed in 2014.

Councillors approved the plans at a meeting on Tuesday night (Sept27) for the home, which would open in summer 2019, subject to planning permission.

Work will now begin on producing a detailed design for a high quality modern, spacious and energy-efficient care home in preparation for public consultation.

Cllr Karen Rampton, cabinet portfolio holder for adult social services, said: "One of the council's priorities is promoting the health and wellbeing of our residents, especially the most vulnerable.

"The population of older people in Poole is increasing and we have a duty to ensure there is sufficient capacity and a genuine choice of care options that make the best use of public funds.

"Developing a council-owned care home will allow us to achieve better value for money when placing residents in residential care and also improve our ability to place people closer to home, making it easier for friends and family to visit on a regular basis."

Once built, it will become the first council-owned home in the borough for more than 30 years and represent a marked change in tackling what some fear is an emerging social care crisis.

Cllr Sandra Moore, who represents Canford Heath East, said: "There is a huge need for affordable care homes, especially with care costs continuing to escalate.

"The business case put forward by officers is excellent and both my ward colleague and myself were happy to support it. The new care home will benefit the whole community and we look forward to seeing this project progress."

Tenders for both the construction of the building and delivery of care services will now be prepared for advertising, with contracts expected to be awarded during the summer of 2017.