Future care of 179 elderly people with dementia across Fife thrown into doubt

Families are being left with an uncertain future as a two-month review of care provision across Fife is being undertaken by the company.
Families are being left with an uncertain future as a two-month review of care provision across Fife is being undertaken by the company.

Uncertainty surrounds the future care of up to 179 elderly people with dementia living independently across Fife, following confirmation that troubled care provider Bield Housing Association is to review the future of its care services.

The news comes just 24 hours after the Edinburgh-base care provider, one of Scotland’s biggest, confirned that it was to close 12 residential care homes across the country, including one in Glenrothes and two in Dunfermline.

The latest revelation puts a question mark over the long-term future of the Flexicare service, which has offices in Glenrothes, Leven and Dunfermline, providing housing, care and community services for older people with dementia while living independently.

The families of those who have loved ones currently relying on the Flexicare services have been written to this week to inform that a two month review of the service will now be undertaken.

A spokesman for Bield said the company was facing “considerable challenges and financial constraints” and confirmed that a new five-year strategy was being put in place to help the company through this difficult period.

They added: “We believe it is prudent to review our operations and make potential changes on our terms, rather than have decisions forced upon us that we have no control over.

“As a result of this new strategy, we have made the difficult decision to close our care homes and additionally we will be undertaking an appraisal of other care services which includes Fife Flexicare with a view to, where possible and practical, linking them to our accommodation-based services.

“The review will take place between now and December 2017 and we will announce the future of these services no later than January 2018.

“The cost to run services like Fife Flexicare continues to increase at a time when it has been difficult to attract additional income.”

Bield have stressed that no decision on the future of of care provision will be taken until the review has been completed.

“In the interim, the service will continue to operate,” said the spokesman.

“Those impacted by the proposed changes have been personally advised by letter but we apologise for any uncertainty this has caused to people who use this service.”