Two Hampshire nursing homes are to be extended and improved in a £3 million plus scheme.

The plan is aimed at boosting the quality and provision of care, as part of Hampshire County Counciil's overall strategy of improving facilities for older people.

Some of the work will be carried out at Oakridge nursing home in Jefferson Road, Basingstoke with currently provides 48 rooms for nursing care and 34 rooms for residential care.

This re-development will increase the number of beds for nursing care by nine, and help the future flexible use of all available beds to match demand.

There will also be an extension at Westholme in Harestock Road, Winchester to provide additional capacity for affordable care.

Westholme currently provides 30 bedrooms for nursing care and 37 for residential care.

The scheme will provide an additional six bedrooms, delivering a total of 40 bedrooms for nursing care and 33 for residential care.

This mix may vary in future based on local need. Work is planned to start on site during the summer of 2013, with completion in the spring of 2014.

Both sites will remain in use during the construction period and arrangements will be made to ensure the health and safety of all residents at the homes.

The latest in modern style housing and support for older people, New Extra Care facilities have already opened in Andover, Fleet, Basingstoke and Gosport, and the level of care and support services provided enhanced in a further eleven locations as part of the County Council’s blueprint for care in the future.

Together these schemes provide 690 Extra Care units of accommodation.

Council leader Councillor Ken Thornber said: "The decision was taken in September 2012 to close three of our care homes as they did not meet current standards and it was not economic to update them.

"The funding from their sale will be used to develop more affordable residential places for vulnerable older people, which demonstrates our commitment to providing high quality accommodation and care to meet the needs of residents, both now and in the future.

"We are all living longer, which is good news, but this presents us with some challenges.

"Older people now have higher expectations than previous generations. This means we have to ensure the care we provide is fit for the future and it is good news that older people in Basingstoke and Winchester will soon have access to more high quality care close to home.

"This is also another good example of how our reserves are put to one-off uses to fund the cost of restructuring and transforming the way that services are delivered."

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