No threat to care homes
Stirling centres escape Bield cuts
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.”