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Uncertainty for elderly residents as two Forth Valley care homes to shut

Thornton Gardens in Bonnybridge

Care homes in Bonnybridge and Bo’ness are set to close, affecting dozens of elderly residents.

Thornton Gardens and Woodlands are among 12 residential homes being shut down across Scotland by Edinburgh-based provider Bield.

They say it’s due to “financial pressures”.

The company will now work with families to find alternative accommodation before next summer.

Brian Logan, chief executive of Bield, said there were ongoing talks with other providers that could mean a small number remain open.

He said, “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 communicate the reasons for the decision and discuss what options are available to those affected – with the aim of minimising the impact as far as possible.

“Our five year vision is bold and we aim to transform our organisation by 2022.”

A Falkirk Council spokesperson said, “The decision by Bield to close the two homes in Bonnybridge and Bo’ness is concerning however we will support all residents and their families to find alternative arrangements that best suit their needs.

“This will involve dedicated staff working with Bield to ensure the all the affected residents are found the most appropriate alternative accommodation for the long term.

“We expect Bield to keep us fully informed throughout the process and to minimise disruption and concerns with residents.”

Keith Robson, Age Scotland’s Charity Director, said, “We’re concerned to hear about these closures.

“Studies show that poorly-planned moves are extremely stressful for older people and negatively affect their physical and mental health.

“We hope that providers and local authorities are working together to minimise the impact on residents and their families and ensure they all have the support they need.

“With around 80 per cent of care home places provided by the private sector, there is always a chance that these will be affected by financial difficulties, Care Inspectorate enforcement action, or emergencies such as flood or fire.

“It’s urgent that providers and commissioners work together to set up the most effective contingency planning process, and ensure that early action can be taken to prevent closure or ensure a smooth transition.”

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