Care home closure: “warning bell” sounded

Crophelensleahousedundee

Helenslea House in Dundee ismarked for closure.

 The number of places in Scottish care homes has decreased by 21%

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14th September 2018 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Urgent action must be taken to protect vulnerable residents following the closure of a Scottish care home company.

Bertinaley Care Limited, which owns homes in Hamilton, Largs, Dundee and Surrey, has been forced to shut its Helenslea House in Dundee, citing cost and decline in resident numbers as the cause. 

This comes days after a new report that showed over the last ten years, the number of places in Scottish care homes has decreased by 21%.

Now Age Scotland, the national charity for older people, is urging providers, agencies, local authorities and the Care Inspectorate to work together to prevent future closures and ensure a smooth transition for the Dundee care home residents affected. 

Delia Henry, Age Scotland’s charity director, said: “Any care home closure will have a serious impact on the health of vulnerable residents and moving them could even put their lives at risk.

“Poorly planned moves are extremely stressful for older people and can be extremely detrimental to their physical and mental health. We hope that Bertinaley Care is working with local authorities and social workers to protect its residents and their families during this stressful transition. 

“We’re very concerned about the increasing financial and workforce problems facing the sector. This announcement is yet another warning bell highlighting this worsening issue.

“As Scotland’s population ages at an alarming rate, the pressure to deliver high quality services for older people is growing. If we continue to be plagued with the same issues and no solution – this will only worsen the quality of life and care for older people in Scotland.”

Henry urged councils, the Scottish Government and providers to work together to mitigate similar issues in the future.

She said: “With a majority of care home places provided by the private sector, there is always a risk that they will be affected by financial difficulties or other emergencies. 

“Creating an effective contingency planning process could ensure that early action is taken to prevent closure or ensure a smooth transition.”