Reviewing our care homes

Why are we proposing to close or change care homes?

Scope exists to change society so that it is a better place for disabled people and their families. In October 2013, we made a proposal to change or close 11 of our 35 care homes over the next three years. We want to raise expectations when it comes to disability. We want everything we do to reflect our ambitions.

Many of these care homes were set up in the 1960s and 1970s. Now, 50 years later, disabled people’s aspirations have changed. The way people are supported by social care has changed. These days, more disabled people want to live in their community, supported by staff they choose using personal budgets.

How did we choose which homes need to close or change?

We reviewed all our care homes for disabled adults in 2013 to find out which most needed to change. We considered things like:

  • How much choice and control can people have over basic things like when to get up or when to eat?
  • How much can they be involved in the community?
  • Do they have a private bathroom or can they use the kitchen?
  • Do local authorities want to support this kind of service?

Supporting people

These are difficult proposals for many people who live in our care homes, their families and staff. We know they may have a profound impact on people’s lives. We are committed to doing this responsibly and we are following a plan we know works. We will listen and talk with everyone affected before making any decisions.

We are proposing to spread out consultation with everyone who lives and works in the care homes over the next three years so we have the time and resources to support each person to take part.

  • Jack Howarth, Oxford: following consultation the service closed on 31 July 2014.
  • Lingfield Avenue, Kingston upon Thames: after consultation this service closed on 26 November 2014.
  • Douglas Arter Centre, Salisbury: after consultation the residential service closed on 24 March 2015 (the day service remains open).
  • Alderbury Bungalow, Salisbury: after consultation the residential service changed to a supported living* on 21 December 2015.
  • Hampton House, Northampton: after consultation the residential service closed on 7 October 2015.
  • Birchwood, Chesham: we have paused our proposal to change Birchwood to a supported living service* so we can work with staff and residents to develop the service, including putting in place excellent recruitment and development.
  • Coronation Drive, Widnes: after consultation this service closed on 30 September 2015.
  • Roman House, Basingstoke: consultation is delayed until late 2016.
  • Drummonds, Feering: this service transferred to Black Swan, a registered and experienced care provider, on 28 September.
  • Wakes Hall, Colchester: Following a full consultation we have made the decision to close the service by 18 October 2016.
  • Redclyffe, Harpenden: after consultation this service closed on 28 September 2016.

*What is supported living?

How we'll consult with people affected by the proposals

We’ll hold the consultation process at different times at each service over the next three years. This will give us enough time to listen and talk to everyone and each person who lives in the care home can have an independent advocate to help them take part.

We will set out why we believe the proposals are right for each care home. Everyone will be able to challenge our reasons and put forward alternative proposals which support disabled people to live independently in the community. We welcome alternative proposals and will give them serious consideration before making a decision. 

Supporting individuals if the proposals go ahead

If we decide to go ahead with the proposals after the consultation process, we’ll support each resident to work with their social care team so they understand what is important to each individual and what support they need in future. This way, we’ll have the best chance of supporting each person and their families to work with the council to get the care and support that’s right for them.

We will support everyone to move on to somewhere that meets their needs, whether that’s another residential care home, living by themselves or sharing a house with friends.

Want to know more about our care home plans?

If you have any questions about these proposals, please email

Stories from our Care Homes Review

Read their stories - links to stories page

We have supported everyone to make decisions about their future when moving on from our care homes.