The fight to save an Angus care home is gaining momentum after concerned families, residents and members of the public gathered to discuss their strategy yesterday.
The starting pistol was fired for the campaign after a leaked report on the future of Seaton Grove in Arbroath outlined future options for the unit which included closure and privatisation.
Dozens of people attended a session at the home yesterday and pledged their support for the battle to keep it open.
Speaking for the group, the Friends of Seaton Grove, Ian Angus said: “The amazing turnout we have seen today demonstrates the concern in the community about the future of the home, and we are very grateful to everyone who came along.
“The campaign swelled significantly today.
“We want to keep Seaton Grove open, but we also want to keep it out of the private sector.”
Mr Angus acknowledged there was a role for the private sector in delivering care, but said Seaton Grove was already providing the gold standard.
It is currently run by Angus Health and Social Care Partnership, which includes Angus Council and NHS Tayside.
“We have heard some great ideas, but I also want to put our case to the three councillors and three board members who will ultimately make the decision on the future of Seaton Grove,” he said.
“The next step is a families meeting, and we want more detailed information including financial data to examine the rationale behind the review.
“We are not just fighting for the residents, we are also fighting for the staff who do such a great job.”
Relatives of residents in the home have been invited to a closed-door meeting with AHSCP chiefs this week.
The general public and media are being excluded from the talks to “respect confidentiality”.
In another development, Angus South SNP MSP Graeme Dey has met Vicky Irons, chief officer for health and social care integration, and George Bowie, head of community health and social care, to discuss the future of Seaton Grove and the future delivery of care services across Angus and in particular, Arbroath.
Mr Dey said: “I was pleased to have the opportunity to explore with senior officials the options concerning Seaton Grove, and concerns over long term planning to meet the needs of our older folk.
“I understand entirely the angst that news of a threat to this facility has created amongst its residents, their loved ones and the local community.
“What we need now is proper consideration of the best way forward, which I sincerely hope involves an appropriate future for Seaton Grove.”
The home is one of just three remaining in the control of the Angus Health and Social Care Partnership. Management say the building needs £1m of investment against a backdrop of financial constraint and steadily increased demand..