The contract to run six care homes in the borough is being tendered out by the council in a bid to improve services currently available.
Bedford Borough Council has this week launched a consultation with residents, their families and carers regarding the care available in the borough.
For the past 15 years Bupa have been contracted to manage six care homes owned by the Council; Puttenhoe, Highfield, Brookside, Southway, Parkside and Rivermead.
This contract ends on March 31. Ahead of this, the council has held discussions with a number of care providers.
These providers have been clear that significant investment needs to be made in order to meets the needs of a growing elderly population and provide care that is fit for the future.
This major programme of improvements includes the construction of two new, modern buildings replacing older accommodation that would not be fit for the future.
When completed, this will provide better care homes which will include larger bedrooms with en suite shower and toilet facilities, wider corridors and will also help people with nursing needs to be cared for locally with improved access to nursing staff and modern specialist equipment.
The council is proposing that Bupa and Care UK are invited to put forward tenders to provide these services and improve and update the accommodation available for older people.
A new contract will be awarded to the organisation that is best placed to deliver improved facilities and manage the existing services.
Councillor Colleen Atkins, executive member for adults services at Bedford Borough Council, said: “We care about the older citizens of Bedford Borough and this consultation is the first stage in achieving a significant improvement in the accommodation available for them.
“It is vital we take steps now to ensure we will be able to provide the right level of care to meet their needs.
“We recognise any changes to older people’s accommodation are sensitive and that is why we are speaking to residents, their families and carers as part of an open and transparent consultation.
“We will work to minimise any disruption caused to individuals and will ensure that no-one will be moved more than once.
“This is an extremely important decision for our older residents now and those we will care for in the future and I urge anyone with a view on our proposals, to get in touch.”
Council staff are visiting the six care homes to speak to residents and staff to explain the proposals and answer any questions they may have.
All residents will be asked what their specific requirements are, and for their thoughts as to where they want to live. Relatives will also be fully consulted about the options available.
The consultation will run from October 14 to January 14 and the successful bidder will be confirmed in January 2014.