Campaigners fighting to secure the future of a much-loved Angus care home are urging management not to impose privatisation on the facility when they meet behind closed doors next week.
In March, a leaked report presented a number of options for Seaton Grove care home in Arbroath, including closure, privatisation or handing it over to a third sector organisation in a bid to balance the books.
The news triggered a campaign by residents, families and supporters to save the facility, which the threat of the axe lifted.
However, a meeting of the Integration Joint Board (IJB) next week will again discuss options for Seaton Grove.
A spokesperson for Friends of Seaton Grove said: “We contacted the IJB and were initially told we could address the meeting but since then, we have been asked to submit a formal request to speak and on top of that, they want to know what it is we will be saying.
“The fact the report is being treated as confidential because of commercial sensitivities suggests to us that privatisation remains an active consideration.
“Of course there is a role for the private sector in care provision but it is the wrong solution for a home that currently provides the gold standard of care in Angus and it is vital that it remains in public stewardship.”
The campaigners are urging that the situation is drawn to a conclusion as soon as possible to alleviate the concerns of residents, families and staff – with the status quo being the preferred option.
The spokesperson continued: “This situation is causing uncertainty among vulnerable people, and we are concerned that staff will start to look for other employment, which will break up some fantastic teams.”
A spokesman for Angus Health and Social Care Partnership said: “A report outlining options for the future management of Seaton Grove will be considered by the Integration Joint Board on August 28.
“Senior managers met with the Friends of Seaton Grove most recently on 1 August and discussed the issues that will be considered by the board.
“There are some circumstances which require the Health and Social Care Partnership to bring reports under confidential proceedings. The report is on green paper because some of the detail fulfils the criteria for commercial confidentiality.
“A delegation from the Friends of Seaton Grove will be able to address the IJB directly before the report is discussed.”