THE COUNCIL is set to spend more than £7 million on re-developing Heathlands Residential Care Home after it closed more than three years ago.

Investment into the site will see it become a combined nursing and health care facility with more than 60 new beds.

A report produced for the council outlined the proposals, detailing £11 million investment in total, with East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group contributing another £3 million.

The site was shut down in February 2016 after it emerged the care home “did not meet modern standards” and the “cost of operating the care home (was) unsustainable”.

As a result of the Heathlands shutdown, four out of every five care-home beds in Bracknell Forest for the elderly and mentally infirm were lost.

This meant that the average weekly cost of an EMI nursing care-home placement rose from £700 to £900, leading to “a significant cost pressure on the council’s adult social care


A council report suggested that because of Heathlands’ absence there is a ‘strong case’ “to build a local facility to address the shortfall in capacity for elderly and mentally infirm (EMI) nursing and health intermediate care beds”, rather than to sell the site.

Detailed financial plans for the redevelopment are set to be approved by the council’s top branch after the authority gave initial proposals the green light in February 2017.

Press and the public are forbidden from seeing the business case for the re-development, but the council report shows that nearby local authorities are no longer contributing to the cost of the scheme along with BFC and the CCG, despite the council expecting them to initially.

However, the council report outlines that the business case highlights that there “remains uncertainty about the new Heathlands provider and the associated risks and opportunities for partners.”

Plans for the new site will see a 64-bedroom care-home with and 14 extra care housing units developed.

The council allocated the money for the scheme when it approved its budget for the 2019/2020 year in late February.

Senior councillors are set to meet on Tuesday, March 12, where they are expected to approve plans to move ahead with a planning application and a contractor for the Heathlands site.