ALMOST a year after councillors gave their approval for the purchase of a Boscombe care home, a deal has finally been agreed.

Fairways in Owls Road will be leased to local authority-owned Tricuro.

BCP Council leader Vikki Slade said it would boost the number of "affordable beds” it has available.

“It’s very good news that we have now completed the purchase of Fairways care home, providing further beds to the council to allocate to those residents requiring council funding towards their care costs,” Cllr Slade said.

“We have found it increasingly difficult to source suitable accommodation and care at an affordable price for people leaving hospital or who need residential care.

“By owning our own care homes we are able to secure a large number of affordable bed places for local people, particularly those with dementia.”

Approval for the purchase was given by Bournemouth council’s cabinet at the end of November although no details of which home was involved were provided.

A report published at the time said as much as £400,000 a year would be saved by avoiding the cost of paying private providers for the same facilities.

Bournemouth council had considered building its own care home but was put off by cost estimates in excess of £7 million.

Speaking at the time of the original decision, then cabinet member for adult social care, Blair Crawford, said he hoped the deal would be finalised in early 2019.

However, the "complicated" process was only completed earlier this month.

The council has yet to confirm how much it paid.

Staff at the 70-bed home will now be employed by Tricuro, which is owned by Dorset's two unitary authorities, and the care programmes for its existing residents will continue as normal.

Tricuro managing director Alison Waller said employees, residents and families would be "fully supported" during the transfer of ownership.

She added that beds would also be made available on a private basis.