BOURNEMOUTH council is closing one of its care homes so it can be put on the market for redevelopment.

Broadwaters, in Wick Lane, provides short-term treatment, care and rehabilitation for elderly people, reducing pressure on local hospitals by providing extra beds.

Bournemouth’s cabinet approved putting Broadwaters on the market on Wednesday as part of the council’s asset management strategy.

It is re-locating the service to The Fearnes care home in Knyveton Road in May, following one million pounds’ worth of refurbishment works.

The premises are also council-owned but were previously operated by Care South, which opened a new home, Wickmeads, in Southbourne last year.

Broadwaters, which is currently operated by Tricuro, a social care company run by Dorset County, Bournemouth and Poole councils, will be ‘surplus to requirements’ after the move. The council’s preferred use for the site is properties for the private rented sector.

The care home currently has 37 registered places and 29 beds, whereas The Fearnes has capacity for 40 beds.

Commenting on the closure of Broadwaters, Phil Dunn, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Bournemouth West, said: “At a time when the council itself acknowledges that demand is increasing, supply is reducing, and that future social care budgets are uncertain, the closure of Broadwaters is clearly putting profits from land sales above people.

“Unless capacity is increased in line with demand, Bournemouth residents are likely to suffer the consequences.

“We are calling on the council to re-consider this decision and to commit to increasing social care capacity and spending going forward.”

He added the closure was “just the latest in a series of bed and capacity reductions, as a result of chronic under-funding of adult social care in Bournemouth”.

Neil Goddard, service director for commissioning at Bournemouth council, said the new care home would cater for the needs of residents who previously would have undergone short term care and ‘reablement’ support services at Broadwaters.

“The new care home will begin operating in the early summer and will have 40 beds available – eleven more than Broadwaters. The service will be delivered by the existing high quality staff who currently operate Broadwaters, made up of employees transferring with Tricuro and Dorset Healthcare, as well as being joined by a team from Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

“Together The Fearnes will provide a wide spectrum of skills to manage people with complex needs.”