Res­i­dents face un­cer­tain fu­ture as homes to close

Bield says it is ‘last re­sort op­tion’ for three Fife homes

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS - craig smith csmith@the­courier.co.uk

Dozens of frail and el­derly peo­ple across Fife have been left in the dark about their longer-term liv­ing ar­range­ments af­ter one of Scot­land’s lead­ing care home providers con­firmed plans to close premises.

Ed­in­burgh-based Bield Hous­ing said fi­nan­cial pres­sures have forced the clo­sure of 12 prop­er­ties in seven lo­cal author­ity ar­eas.

Three care homes in Fife will be axed within nine months. Bield said it would work with res­i­dents to make al­ter­na­tive ar­range­ments.

Twenty-four peo­ple liv­ing in Fi­navon Court in Glen­rothes, 14 at Grants Bank in Dun­fermline and 12 in Gil­lie Court, also in Dun­fermline, are likely to be forced into a move as a re­sult, although no clo­sures will take place un­til July to al­low for talks over pos­si­ble trans­fers else­where to take place.

No homes in Dundee, Perth or An­gus have been ear­marked for clo­sure.

Brian Lo­gan, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Bield, said: “The de­ci­sion 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.

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

He added that con­sul­ta­tion meet­ings will be held “to dis­cuss what op­tions are avail­able to those af­fected – with the aim of min­imis­ing the im­pact as far as pos­si­ble”.

Fiona Mckay, head of strate­gic plan­ning, per­for­mance and com­mis­sion­ing at Fife’s health and so­cial care part­ner­ship, said the con­tin­ued care and wel­fare of res­i­dents was “para­mount”, and that it would work with Bield.

She said: “All new place­ments within the Bield Care Homes in Fife have ceased with im­me­di­ate ef­fect... We are in close com­mu­ni­ca­tion with Scot­tish Care and COSLA who are mon­i­tor­ing the po­si­tion at a na­tional level.” Shirley-anne Somerville, MSP for Dun­fermline, said: “I have now writ­ten to Bield to con­firm, as a mat­ter of ur­gency, what their im­me­di­ate plans are for Gil­lie Court and Grants Bank.

“My heart goes out to the res­i­dents and staff of Gil­lie Court and Grants Bank at this un­cer­tain time.”

The Courier has learned dis­cus­sions with an­other provider about po­ten­tially tak­ing over Fi­navon Court in Glen­rothes have started (see story right).

Glen­rothes coun­cil­lor Fiona Grant spoke of her sor­row at the news of Fi­navon Court’s im­pend­ing clo­sure.

“I know mem­bers and of­fi­cers alike will do what they can to sup­port ev­ery­one af­fected,” she said.

Bield’s Fi­navon Court care home in Glen­rothes is fac­ing clo­sure.

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