A BUNGALOW providing care for people with learning difficulties is to close as it is making a financial loss.
Tamerine, in Southwick Road, Denmead, is a four-bedroom home offering short stays for people with moderate to severe learning disabilities so their families can have a break.
But the service has been losing about £120,000 to £150,000 each year for the past four years.
It is run by TQ21, the social care services for Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.
In the last financial year the trust went £6.1m over its budget and as a result is reviewing all its services to see where it can save money.
Tamerine will close on December 20.
The people we support, their families and carers are very important to us and we seriously consider the impact any decisions about changes to the service they use will have upon themCarol Cleary, head of service for TQ21
In total, 23 families are using the service and have been told about the changes.
There are 10 members of staff who work at the bungalow, and they will be moved to work elsewhere in the trust.
Mark Morgan, director of operations for the trust, said: ‘We have been very straight with the families and told them the primary reason for the service closing is financial – this has been losing money for a long time.
‘It’s also not a service the trust must provide so therefore we will have to close it.’
The commissioners are holding one-to-one meetings with all families and will continue to do so for the next two months.
The service has been running for 20 years and is paid for by Hampshire County Council, Portsmouth City Council and the Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group.
All of the organisations ‘spot purchase’ the service, which means they pay £285 a night for as many nights as a family needs.
However it has only been running at around 65 to 85 per cent capacity.
In the first quarter of this financial year it is already £28,000 over its budget.
Carol Cleary, head of service for TQ21, said: ‘The people we support, their families and carers are very important to us and we seriously consider the impact any decisions about changes to the services they use will have upon them.
‘We’re committed to working with people who use the service, families and commissioners to find alternatives and have begun this process.’