Fife dementia care left in crisis after Bield pull plug on Flexicare service

Troubled care provider Bield has confirmed it will end be ending its Flexicare service across Fife.
Troubled care provider Bield has confirmed it will end be ending its Flexicare service across Fife.

The care of 179 Fifer’s living with dementia is in crisis after troubled care provider Bield confirmed it is to end its Flexicare service across the region.

The devastating news leaves families of loved ones currently using the service to live independently with the uncertainty of who will provide care when Bield ends its commitments in September.

Bield, whose Flexicare service has offices in Glenrothes and Leven, has confirmed the service had run at a loss for some time.

The decision also now leaves a question mark over the future for around 30 employees.

A spokesman for Beild said: “The decision to withdraw from providing the Fife Flexicare service was an extremely difficult one to take, and one which was taken after exploring all the possible options open to us.

“The services have been operating with considerable financial losses for some time and despite support from Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, we were unable to make the services financially viable with the income available to us.

“Some of the reasons for this relate to the rural location of the service users and the linked high travel costs in delivering such a service.

The Edinburgh-based company, one of Scotland’s biggest, concluded a strategic review of its operations in December 2017 shortly after it had announced it was closing 12 of its care homes across the country, including one in Glenrothes and tow in Dunfermline.

The spokesman added: “Where Bield operate care services, including Flexicare Services, it was concluded that if these were to be retained then they must be financially sustainable over a short to medium term and/or have a significant and direct impact for our tenants and their immediate geographical communities.

“Unfortunately, for these reasons, we were unable to continue to provide these services.

“The decision to withdraw the service was very much one of last resort for Bield, and we will work hard, in conjunction with Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, to ensure the best outcomes for the current group of people who use this service.

“Our Service Managers will be visiting various Bield developments in the next three to four weeks to meet with people who use the service and their family members, if required, to answer any questions and address concerns.”