Takare to spend pounds 25m bedding down in South

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The Independent Online
TAKARE, the nursing home operator, has committed pounds 25m to the construction of 750 beds in new developments in the south of England.

The group, which raised pounds 68m in a rights issue last September, has earmarked another pounds 50m to build accommodation for a further 1,400 beds. By 1995 it plans to be running enough space to house 8,000 elderly and physically or mentally disabled people.

The company made an official statement to the Stock Exchange on its expansion plans yesterday, following a dinner with investment analysts on Thursday. Takare was wary of falling foul of the tighter regime on financial disclosure.

Keith Bradshaw, chairman, said the company also wanted to give shareholders details of what it was spending the rights money on. Mr Bradshaw said some confusion might have been created because expansion was delayed by the introduction of Community Care reforms last April.

The reforms switch the responsibility for the financing of state-supported patients from the Department of Social Security to local authorities. Takare suspended some development of new beds to ensure the reforms did not precipitate a change of strategy.

Mr Bradshaw said: 'Our 1993 construction programme was deliberately back-end loaded to enable us to absorb the lessons of the Community Care reforms before making major investment decisions.'

Takare has concentrated on the north of England, the Midlands, Scotland and East Anglia. However, it is now penetrating the south-east of England - as a direct result of the Community Care reforms.

When healthcare was funded through welfare benefits, the same money was available to users regardless of location. Mr Bradshaw said this inhibited development in the South, where costs were higher. The new system allowed more flexibility.