Green light for multi-million pound investment in County Council care homes

Plans to invest more than £173 million in Hampshire County Council’s in-house care homes for older people have been given the green light, paving the way towards a focus on delivering specialist nursing and complex dementia care, as well as short term pre- and post-hospital support, to better meet the needs of the county’s ageing population

Feb 8 2024

In approving the plans, the Local Authority’s Lead Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, Councillor Liz Fairhurst said: “Our local authority is one of the very few still running its own care homes. This investment signals our absolute commitment to continuing to do so, but like many councils nationally, facing rising costs and growing demand for public services, we simply cannot continue to provide everything. Now is the time to make some really important choices in how best to target our resources, so that care is provided to local people in the very best way possible, for this and future generations. Looking ahead, our homes will concentrate on specialist care for those with the greatest need – this is care that we are both very good at delivering and can provide at a lower cost than if we source it privately.
“We will continue to support those with more general residential care needs by buying more care directly from Hampshire’s independent care providers with whom we already work very closely, as well as supporting many thousands of people with care to help them to continue living independently in their own homes.”

The future plans include: 

Building three new care homes 
Enlarging and modernising three existing homes 
Closing seven ‘older style’ care homes (two of which have been temporarily closed since 2021)
Leaving seven homes unchanged.
The plans will increase the overall number of beds available to local people from 900 to 1,000, within a reduced network of 13 homes. 

Councillor Fairhurst continued: “We are extremely proud of our care homes and of the quality of the care they provide. However, the reality is that some of our buildings are far from ideal with small rooms, limited space for essential equipment and no ensuite facilities. This is not the way we want to deliver care in future and why things need to change - so that we can offer people support with the maximum dignity possible.” 

She added: “I understand the uncertainty that this decision will create for some residents and their families, particularly in those homes that will now be closing. They will be assured of the full support of our expert care teams who have proven experience and expertise in assisting people to move – indeed, they support many hundreds of moves each year as people’s care needs change. Great care will be taken to assist people to make the right, individual choices about their future accommodation.”  

Further information about the investment programme and recommendations can be found on the County Council’s website.