Fears for elderly as Edinburgh-based charity to close 12 care homes

Concerns have been raised about the care of the elderly.
Concerns have been raised about the care of the elderly.

Campaigners have expressed concern after a leading provider of housing for the elderly looks set to close a dozen residential care homes.

Bield Housing is set to close a dozen residential care homes, which would affect 167 residents across Scotland.

The housing provider said it planned to end care home provision by the summer of 2018 but stated in a letter to clients that it would aim to help families and find alternatives before the deadline.

Bield stated that the decision was caused due to a funding crisis in the sectior and that most of its residential care homes were no longer viable.

Those working and operating in the care industry have stated that funding in the sector has long been an issue.

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Industry experts said the withdrawal of one of the most prominent charities was a sign of things to come.

It is reported in The Herald that all 12 residential care homes will close, forcing 167 residents to make new arrangements.

Brian Logan, chief executive of Bield Housing and Care, said that with staffing and running costs increasing, coupled with higher demand amid funding cuts meant action was needed needed to strengthen Bield’s finances.

He said: “The decision is very much a last resort option,” he said. “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.

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“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 discuss what options are available to those affected – with the aim of minimising the impact as far as possible.”

Dr Donald MacAskill, of industry body Scottish Care, said his members were facing similar problems to those faced by Bield, with councils paying less to fund places saying: “It is the multiplicity of these which is particularly challenging. One on its own could be dealt with but put them all together and providers reach a place where they seriously consider withdrawing from the sector,” he said.

“The loss of a significant player like Bield is illustrative of these difficulties. Increasingly, our members are finding care home provision is unsustainable,” he said.