THE tender process to find a new company to run 12 Powys care homes is due to start.

The decision to start the process of finding a new company to run the care homes was announced by Adult Social Care portfolio holder, Cllr Stephen Hayes yesterday (Thursday, September 20).

Healthcare group, BUPA, is contracted to run the 12 care homes for Powys County Council (PCC) until May 2019.

These include Llys Hafren in Welshpool, Plas Cae Crwn in Newtown, Llwyn Teg in Llanfyllin, Wylesfield in Llandrindod Wells, Prestmede in Presteigne, Maes-y-Wennol in Llanidloes, Brynhyfryd in Builth Wells and Cartref Dyfi in Machynlleth.

BUPA was looking to sell the care homes last year but a deal with care providers HC-One was blocked when the Council threatened legal action.

At the time PCC had been unaware of BUPA's intention to sell the homes and had not been part of the discussions.

The notice says that PCC will lead the competitive tender negotiation for managing the 12 care homes to a new provider, with the Council leading on advertising to the market for a potential fit.

Cllr Hayes explained the decision: "This will enable full control of the selection process but also provide assurance and confidence from BUPA that the company chosen is the right choice for our resident and also a seamless and swift transfer of the contract and management."

Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) will be involved in the process, and will discuss requirements that the new care provider will be expected to meet..

Part of the process will also see PCC develop backup plans to bring the management of the service back into council control.

This is in case no company is found to take the care homes on.

Cllr Hayes, added: "These plans will reduce the risk to the Council if no provider was forthcoming from the tender exercise."

Finding new management for Maes y Wennol Day Care Centre in Llanidloes is also part of the process.

This would see the Maes-y-Wennol residential home and and day care centre potentially run by the same company which would "secure efficiencies" and "ensure provision" of day services for older people in Llanidloes.

The decision will become effective from September 28.