Closed Swanage care home brought back to life

A Swanage care home that closed amid a wave of protest will reopen for the town’s elderly, it has been announced.
James Day Care Home shut in January, last year, leading to the traumatic re-housing of 22 elderly residents.
A joint planning group, including representatives of the NHS, county council, Purbeck District Council, Swanage Town Council and various organisations for the elderly, was quickly formed to ensure the site was kept for elderly care provision.
More than 18 months later, Dorset County Council’s adult social care cabinet member Cllr Andrew Cattaway confirmed: “We are very pleased that we now have a positive solution for residential care for people in Swanage that takes into account the growth of the older population and the shortage of existing care homes.”
Dorset-based private care company Agincare, which runs a number of homes across the UK, is preparing to take over the long-term lease at James Day.
They will redevelop the building for residential, dementia and, eventually, nursing care.
Cllr Cattaway said: “We welcome their proposal to take over the long-term lease of the building.
“This will give a much-needed boost of investment and provide modern care facilities and services to older people in Swanage and the surrounding area.”
Aside from some last-minute contractual issues to be finalised, the building should be ready for its first residents by next spring.
An Agincare spokesman confirmed: “Our team is very excited at this opportunity to utilise our significant resources and national experience to bring the James Day site ‘back to life’ and to create a range of local service provision to meet the current and future needs of the town.”
Care South, the company that used to run James Day, gave three months’ notice after Dorset County Council raised the rent by 30 per cent in 2010.
This increase, fixed by an independent body, was the first rent hike in 14 years but it came at a time when the Swanage establishment was making annual losses of around £200,000.