FOR 92-year-old Bill Buckingham, the thought of dying in a care home is one he dreads.

And Oxfordshire County Council wants to allow more people to stay in their own homes in the later stage of their lives.

It is preparing to make a bid for £37m to NHS England from the Better Care Fund.

Mr Buckingham, from Rose Hill, said: “I just want to stay in my home, where I know where everything is. It is more peaceful and I can have whatever meal I like and go to bed when I want.”

Mr Buckingham, a former Lord Mayor of Oxford, lost his wife Margaret in 2011.

He represented Rose Hill as a Labour councillor and became first citizen in 1994.

If granted, the money will be used on a number of projects to reduce the number of elderly people permanently admitted to a care home.

John Jackson, the county council’s director for social and community services, said: “We are proposing that the focus of the Better Care Fund is predominantly on meeting the needs of older people, given this is the most significant pressure facing both health and social care in Oxfordshire.”

The county council will also form a joint commissioning unit with Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group – the body which purchases the county’s healthcare.

It is proposed the money will be spent on support for people with dementia, support allowing people to die at home and on rehabilitation.

A decision on whether to agree Oxfordshire’s Better Care Fund plan will be made by the county council’s cabinet today at 2pm.

The bid to NHS England has to be submitted by April 4.