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Hampshire County Council defends decision to close Solent Mead in Lymington and Cranleigh Paddock in Lyndhurst as it pledges £173m to build new homes

THE county council has defended its decision to close two New Forest care homes and says it will give residents “full support” to move elsewhere.

Solent Mead in Church Lane, Lymington, which has around 35 residents, was one of three across the county the council proposed to shut in a shake-up of its care plans.

It also proposed permanently closing Cranleigh Paddock in Lyndhurst, which has been temporarily shut since 2021.

Cranleigh Paddock care home
Cranleigh Paddock care home

The decision to shut the facilities was officially made by Hampshire County Council’s lead member for adult social care and public health, Cllr Liz Fairhurst, who said: “We are extremely proud of our care homes and of the quality of 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 en-suite 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.”

Solent Mead care home could close under HCC's plans
Solent Mead care home could close under HCC's plans

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.

“Great care will be taken to assist people to make the right, individual choices about their future accommodation.”

Cranleigh Paddock care home
Cranleigh Paddock care home

The council has pledged to invest more than £173m in order to focus on delivering specialist nursing and complex dementia care, short term pre- and post-hospital support, as well as building three new care homes across the county. It has not been revealed where the care homes would be built across Hampshire, or when they would be opened.

Cllr Fairhurst added: “We will continue to support those with more general residential 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.”

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