Charity to withdraw from care home provision

Care home web

Up to 167 residents face having to find alternative accommodation

12th October 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A Scottish charity is set to close all of its care homes – with residents having to find new accommodation.

Bield Housing is set to close the majority or all of its 12 residential homes, with 167 residents affected.

Homes in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Falkirk, Fife, Jedburgh, Biggar and West Lothian are under threat.

The charity has said that it needs to change the way it delivers services to secure its future and meet the changing needs of those that it supports.

Brian Logan, chief executive of Bield Housing and Care, said: “The decision to make these changes to services, and in particular the withdrawal of care home services, is very much a last resort option. We have carefully considered a wide range of options to continue delivery of these services however, we have been unable to find a solution that will be viable in the longer term.

“It is important to stress, where feasible we will continue to operate an element of care provision, through our Bield at Home service and we will work with partners to develop Housing with Care services.

“We are aware of the serious impact these changes will make to people who use our services, their families and our staff.

“Those impacted by the changes have been advised and in the coming weeks and months we will be holding consultation meetings to communicate the reasons for the decision and discuss what options are available to those affected – with the aim of minimising the impact as far as possible.”

Bield has set out a five year plan which it says aims to make it the housing provider of choice for older people in Scotland.

It will develop a new home care service, review office costs and continue to develop homes for older people.

The closure of the care homes is set to take place over a nine-month period, with the main initial changes aiming to be complete within 18 months.

Unions have called for the Scottish Government to intervene. John Gallacher, UNISON Scottish organiser, said: “First minister, Nicola Sturgeon must intervene and ask how Bield Housing’s management team got themselves into this position. This is a disaster for families across Scotland and it questions the role of government, integrated joint boards, NHS and local authorities.

"The task of making alternative arrangements will fall back on public authorities, the tax payer and individual families at a few months notice. This is at a time when demand for care services can only increase. As a charity, using public funds, Bield Housing must be held accountable."

Keith Robson, Age Scotland’s charity director, said: “We’re concerned to hear about these closures. Studies show that poorly-planned moves are extremely stressful for older people and negatively affect their physical and mental health. 

“We hope that providers and local authorities are working together to minimise the impact on residents and their families and ensure they all have the support they need."