AN NHS centre in Bournemouth could be closed as part of a planned overhaul of mental health rehabilitation services across the county.

Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is carrying out a joint review with Dorset HealthCare trust following concerns that existing services are “not set up in the right way”.

A new report says a new more “community-focussed” approach would increase the number of beds available in the county and save hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The preferred option includes plans to close one of the three inpatient units in Dorset – Nightingale Court in Alumhurst Road – in favour of increasing community beds elsewhere.

Provision is also made for a new 14-bed high dependency unit and 20 new beds in supported housing which would be provided jointly between the NHS and community organisations.

The report says this would result in an overall increase in beds in the county and reduce reliance on out-of-area placements which cost about £1.8 million a year.

“The preferred model of mental health rehabilitation is to be much more community focussed with inpatient provision being part of the pathway rather than the pathway,” it says.

“The beds provided will be the right number to meet the needs of the Dorset population but will be delivered by a mix of NHS and other providers.”

Plans are also included for a new community rehab team to be established and that the existing outreach and homeless services are “enhanced”.

“The aim is to provide mental health rehab in the most appropriate place possible,” the report adds.

“For some that will be in hospital for a time and for others rehab and/or other long-term support will be provided in the community by community teams.”

Members of the CCG governing body will consider the plans at their meeting on Wednesday (July 17).

Dorset Council’s health scrutiny committee discussed the review last month and welcomed work to increase care provision in the county.

Councillors at BCP Council are due to consider the plans in the coming weeks with a recommendation that they “endorse” the findings of the review and supports proposals for a public consultation to be carried out.