Transforming nursing and specialist care – County Council to launch public consultation in September

Hampshire County Council’s Cabinet have today agreed to open a formal public consultation on 4 September 2023 on proposals that would see some £173million invested over the next five to six years to transform and expand the future of nursing and specialist care accommodation directly provided by Hampshire County Council for the county’s growing older population

Jul 18 2023

The consultation will run for 10 weeks, closing on 12 November 2023. 

The proposals put forward recommend concentrating on the delivery of specialist nursing care, complex dementia care and short-term support – to either prevent a hospital admission or support a hospital discharge. This would not only meet the needs of a growing number of older people in Hampshire in the longer term but would be care that could be provided more cost effectively by the Local Authority. 

Specifically, the proposals to be consulted on include: 

- Building three brand new nursing homes – Oak Park in Havant, Cornerways in Winchester, and a site in the New Forest (location to be determined)

- Significantly modernising and expanding care at three existing County Council homes – Oakridge in Basingstoke, Ticehurst in Aldershot and Emsworth in Havant. 

Withdrawing, over time, from the direct provision of standard residential care, with: 

- the permanent closure of two residential care homes, temporarily closed since 2021 - Copper Beeches in Andover and Cranleigh Paddock in Lyndhurst

- the closure of three existing residential care homes at Bishops Waltham House, Solent Mead in Lymington, and Green Meadows in Waterlooville

- the closure of two further homes in the longer term (not before the end of 2026) - Westholme in Winchester and Malmesbury Lawn in Havant, with the services seamlessly moving to the new local facilities at Cornerways and Oak Park at the point that they are operational

- the ending of standard residential care services at Oakridge, Ticehurst and Emsworth (not before the Autumn 2025 at the earliest).

The County Council’s seven remaining nursing and short term ‘step-down from hospital’ care homes will remain in operation. 

Any changes would be phased over time and would help to increase the overall number of directly provided Local Authority beds to around 1,000 from the current position of just over 900 beds.

The consultation will ensure that the views of people currently being cared for in the County Council’s care homes, their families and staff, plus an extensive range of organisations and the wider public are sought. 

The findings from the formal public consultation process will be considered by the Health and Adult Social Care Select Committee in January 2024 prior to the Executive Lead Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health taking any formal decisions, on the specific proposals, no earlier than February 2024.

Annually, the County Council sources care home places for around 1,600 clients, more than three quarters of whom go into private care homes. The investment proposals would enable a similar ratio of care provision to be maintained.