Three of Cornwall's care homes are to close "temporarily" in a restructure – including one in Helston.

Cornwall Care has said it is restructuring, which will affect Headlands in Carbis Bay, which will merge with nearby Trewartha; Mountford in Truro, which will merge with nearby Redannick and Trengrouse in Helston.

Residents will be supported in their move to alternative accommodation in consultation with their families and staff will be redeployed.

A spokesperson said: "As a charity committed to delivering excellent standards of residential and community service and to keep care services running safely at a critical time, Cornwall Care is announcing a planned restructure that will see three of its 16 homes being temporarily closed.

"The move is part of a three-stage transformation strategy to streamline Cornwall Care’s operational model and strengthen its resilience to the devastating impact of Covid19 and ongoing recruitment and financial issues.

"With excellence in care at the heart of its ethos, the organisation will be devolving greater responsibility to home managers and reducing business support activities."

The first phase of the transition programme late last year involved closing Cornwall Care’s administrative headquarters in Threemilestone, planning for the sale of the building, implementing debt recovery procedures and making a small number of support staff redundant.

The second phase announcement now is about" integrating services, empowering frontline teams, cutting costs and reducing reliance on agency staffing", said the company.

A month-long formal consultation process is being launched and the outcome will be announced on February 24.

The third and final stage of the transformation plan, due to take place this spring, will focus on continued debt recovery, reinvestment, new strategic developments and sustainable business improvement.

Cornwall Care chair Sally Taylor said: “There is a system-wide problem with adult social care and Cornwall Care is making these strategic changes so it can adapt to the very real challenges facing all providers and the people who need care.

“A nationwide social care recruitment crisis is taking its toll on everyone who works in our homes and in our community outreach services.

"Recent data released by Skills for Care shows that Cornwall is the worst affected area in the country for staff shortages and that has meant our people continually going above and beyond to ensure we serve our most vulnerable to the very best of our abilities. They have been amazing and I’m so grateful to them for their continued dedication, care and commitment.

“We cannot go on like this, however, and that’s why as a Board we have decided to change to a new operational model that directs constrained resources where they are most needed. Our ambition is, and always will be, to excel in all aspects of the care we deliver and whilst I’m fully aware that today’s announcement will unsettle those affected, it is the best way forward.

“Closing three of our homes is a temporary measure. We haven’t got sufficient staff to carry out all aspects of our current service to the high standards we require and, with Covid restrictions reducing our occupancy rates, costs have to be reduced by £5m this year. A plan is in place to deliver that.

“Change isn’t easy but addressing our current challenges and making ourselves fit for the future is vital.”

With approximately 650 beds and more than 200 community packages of care, Cornwall Care is currently the county’s biggest care home provider.