Housing provider closes care homes leaving elderly in limbo

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Campaigners described an elderly housing provider’s decision to close its care homes as a “disaster” for families across Falkirk.

Edinburgh-based operator Bield Housing is to shut all 12 of its homes, including Thornton Gardens in Bonnybridge and Woodlands on Kinneil Drive in Bo’ness because of financial pressures.

The move could affect up to 24 residents in total and over 30 staff members are at risk of redundancy but discussions and consultations are continuing, the organisation said.

Bield plan to end care home provision by the summer of 2018 but stated in a letter to clients it would aim to help families and find alternatives before the deadline.

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 and it questions the role of government, integrated joint boards, NHS and local authorities.”

Angus MacDonald, MSP for Falkirk East, said: “Dealing with the fallout from Bield’s decision is the priority, however in the longer term, questions have to be asked why a charity using public funds has been allowed to get itself into such difficulty.”