Published on

14 July 2023

Contract exchanged to purchase care home

We've exchanged contracts to purchase The Berkshire Care Home on Barkham Road, Wokingham

Older man sitting with care worker

Wokingham Borough Council has exchanged contracts with Four Seasons Health Care on the purchase of The Berkshire Care Home on Barkham Road, Wokingham.

Once the sale has been completed, and the home has been re-registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the 50-bedroom care home will be run by the council’s own social care provider Optalis.

It is hoped this will be concluded in the next eight to 12 weeks. With an aging population, the demand for dementia care in Wokingham borough is expected to grow over the next ten years.

By purchasing the care home, the council will increase the availability of high quality, affordable dementia nurse care within the local area, ensuring that some of its most vulnerable residents can remain locally. 

Smooth transition

The Berkshire Care Home’s residents and their families, as well as care home staff, have been informed and the borough council and Optalis will work with Four Seasons Health Care to ensure a smooth transition for all. 

Those members of care home staff who wish to remain working at the care home will be TUPE transferred to Optalis.

Cllr David Hare, executive member for adult services, said: “The purchase of this care home is great news. It is a priority that we support vulnerable people. 

"If the borough council hadn’t started this process, it was possible that the care home could have been sold to private buyers, which could potentially have reduced the number of affordable beds available locally to the council.

“By running our own care homes in partnership with our social care company, Optalis, we can help meet the demand for care as well as reduce our own costs by providing local homes for local people and ensure they still receive high quality care.

"We desperately need more specialist care in our borough as the number of people needing this type of support is increasing at a fast rate.

“We are committed to keeping disruption to residents and staff to a minimum and keeping them up to date with our plans once the legal process is completed.”

Providing stability and continuity 

David Birch, chief executive of Optalis, said:  “Optalis is proud to be supporting Wokingham Borough Council’s purchase of The Berkshire. 

"My team and I understand the importance of providing stability and continuity to residents, their families and the existing care team at a time of change. 

"We believe in the Social Care Future vision that everyone should live in a place they call home, with the people and things they love, in a community where everyone looks out for one another, doing what matters to them. 

We are looking forward to putting this vision at the heart of everything we do at The Berkshire.” 

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