Relief as care home finds new operator

MP Lindsay Roy
MP Lindsay Roy

UNCERTAINTY over the future of a Methil care home has been put to bed after the facility found a new owner.

The former Southern Cross care home, the Forth View Care Centre, has struggled to find a company to run it since its parent group was forced to cease operations.

While many other Southern Cross homes across the UK were quickly taken over, Forth View remained without an operator.

However, it has now been confirmed the facility has been taken under the umbrella of the Balhousie Care Group, which will ensure it keeps running and providing accommodation for 53 residents and employment for 55 staff.

It will be renamed the Balhousie Forthview Methil Care Home by the group, which also own homes in Coupar Angus and Dundee.

Care home manager, Katherine McCauley told the Mail: “The staff are feeling very positive about the changeover to Balhousie Care Group and all our residents and relatives, as well as the team at the home, are being kept informed of any changes.

“Continuity of care for our residents remains of paramount importance to our staff.”

Graham Ogilvie, managing director of Balhousie, said the group was pleased to have added the home to its portfolio, saying it had an “excellent local reputation”.

He added: “We are delighted to have expanded into Fife, which is a key area for us as we continue our Scottish expansion.”

The existing residents have moved into the group’s care and staff have transferred over in what was considered a seamless switch.

The facility was purpose-built four years ago and can care for up to 60 residents in individual rooms.

There is also a substantial garden for residents.

Area MSP Claire Baker said the takeover was welcome, adding: “It will come as a great relief to residents and their families that the trauma of moving from one care home to another has been avoided.

“The staff, who have continued to provide a high level of care in difficult circumstances, will also be relieved to learn that their jobs are safe.”

Southern Cross owned 752 facilities nationwide and provided accommodation to over 31,000 residents.

However, it suffered from a decline in funding, before other fees forced it to go under.

MP for the area Lindsay Roy, said he too was glad the home’s future was settled.

He added: “I wish Balhousie Care Group every success with their first operation in Fife.

“Residents, their families and staff at the home have faced a worrying time since the demise of Southern Cross and this will enable them to look to the future. The Balhousie Care Group is well established and I am sure everyone concerned with Forth View will benefit from its expertise.”