News of the closure of a Crieff care home has been met with shock.
Staff and residents of Ancaster House Care Home have been told the facility will close in the coming weeks, raising concern about the welfare of elderly and vulnerable residents.
Staff members were reportedly told they were being made redundant, or could move to jobs in Stirling, at a meeting last week.
The existing 35-bedroom care home – which scores highly in the most recent Care Inspectorate report – is to close to make way for a new, 64-bedroom care home.
A spokesperson for Ancaster told The Courier that, following a review, it was decided extensive refurbishment is needed to future-proof the home.
They say the privately-owned facility will close for an “extended period.”
Perth and Kinross Council documents reveal planning consent was applied for back in April 2019, with a decision to give the development the green light taken on September 11 of the same year.
‘Shocked and saddened’
Local councillor Stewart Donaldson says he has been seeking answers.
He says: “I was shocked to hear the news about Ancaster House.
“Not only was I saddened, but also deeply concerned for the residents, and for the care staff.”
Mr Donaldson has contacted the Health and Social Care Partnership on two occasions and says there are further questions he wants to ask about the situation.
He adds: “For now I know that staff are working with the Care Inspectorate, and with the care provider, Care Concern Group, to ensure the provider fulfils its contractual obligations.
“The Health and Social Care Partnership are also working with social workers to consider the needs of individual residents and to find alternative accommodation.
“I have also received an assurance as regards staff.”
‘This is their home’
Councillor Donaldson says there are questions about the longer-term future of the facility.
“Here the position is not clear. Right now, though, my main, overriding concern is for the local residents at Ancaster.
“This is their home.
“Events over the last few days will have been very distressing for them. I can only hope appropriate solutions for every resident can be found as soon as possible.”
Decision ‘not taken lightly’
A spokesperson from Ancaster says the health and wellbeing of everyone who makes their home with them has always been their top priority.
“We have made the difficult decision to close the home for an extended period of time to allow for the logistics of a new build.
“We’re committed to working with residents, their families and our local health and care partners to ensure a smooth transition period.
“Our goal is to make sure all residents find a suitable new home that meets their individual needs and where they will be happy.
“Our management team are fully supporting colleagues throughout this process, and we will be engaging with them and their representatives over the coming weeks.
“This decision has not been taken lightly, but is the first step to ensure Ancaster House can fully support and meet the needs of its residents now and in the future.”
A Perth & Kinross Council spokesperson says: “Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership is working with the provider, residents, other placing local authorities and families, as well as the Care Inspectorate, to ensure all residents impacted by this closure find alternative suitable accommodation.
“We will also look to support the staff impacted in exploring other job opportunities in the care sector locally.”