No threat to care homes

Stir­ling cen­tres es­cape Bield cuts

Stirling Observer - - UPDATE - Kaiya Mar­jorib­anks

Re­tire­ment hous­ing schemes in Stir­ling are said to be safe de­spite a hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion an­nounc­ing a ma­jor shake-up and clo­sure of care homes.

Bield Hous­ing an­nounced yes­ter­day (Thurs­day) that they in­tend to close 12 care homes in Falkirk, Ed­in­burgh, Glas­gow, Bor­ders, South La­nark­shire and West Loth­ian by spring and early sum­mer 2018.

Some 160 el­derly peo­ple with de­pen­dent needs, in­clud­ing 24hour per­sonal care and feed­ing as­sis­tance, may be af­fected and the jobs of around 200 care work­ers could face the axe.

Bield told the Ob­server yes­ter­day that four ser­vices it runs in Stir­ling will not be im­pacted by the move.

The as­so­ci­a­tion has four sites in the Stir­ling area, all res­i­den­tial hous­ing for peo­ple aged 60 and over.

These are Al­lan Park House in Kings Park, Greenacre Court in Ban­nock­burn, Strathal­lan Court in Bridge of Al­lan and shel­tered hous­ing at Gren­don Court, Stir­ling.

Bield are set to with­draw from all reg­is­tered care home pro­vi­sion and will de­com­mis­sion hous­ing sup­port in its very shel­tered hous­ing de­vel­op­ments and im­ple­ment a new re­tire­ment with meals ser­vice.

Rather than res­i­den­tial care homes, it will con­cen­trate on pro­vid­ing hous­ing with care.

The near­est care homes to face clo­sure are Thorn­tree Gar­dens in Bon­ny­bridge and Wood­lands in Bo’ness.

Brian Lo­gan, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Bield, said: “Like oth­ers in the so­cial care sec­tor we are fac­ing chal­lenges and fi­nan­cial con­straints, mean­ing we con­stantly have to look dif­fer­ently at how we op­er­ate.

“Reliance on the public sec­tor to fund our busi­ness con­tin­ues to be eroded and wider changes in the eco­nomic, po­lit­i­cal and global mar­ket­place have in­flu­enced our need for change.

“To con­tinue as we have done pre­vi­ously would com­pro­mise the vi­tal work we do to sup­port and care for thou­sands of older peo­ple across Scot­land.

“This new strat­egy will cre­ate a new-look Bield that is well po­si­tioned for the fu­ture and can con­tinue to pro­vide the best ser­vices pos­si­ble to help im­prove the lives of older peo­ple.

“We need to pro­vide in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions to ad­dress the needs and as­pi­ra­tions of the next gen­er­a­tion of older peo­ple.”

The trade union Uni­son called on First Min­is­ter Ni­cola Stur­geon to in­ter­vene, de­scrib­ing it as a “dis­as­ter” for fam­i­lies across Scot­land.

Scot­tish or­gan­iser John Gal­lacher said: “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 tax­payer 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.”

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