Transforming an Angus care home into a mental health facility for older people will cost at least £1 million and lead to the loss of 10 beds, health and social care bosses have confirmed.
Leaders announced this week under-threat Seaton Grove care home in Arbroath, which houses 48 residents, will not be offloaded to a private company and one wing of the facility will, instead, be turned into a mental health facility.
The future of the home has been in doubt since March this year after a leaked report confirmed managers were considering its future.
The decision to save the home came after a campaign by Friends of Seaton Grove, who had argued for the transfer into a mental health facility after accepting the status quo was not a viable option.
Campaigners said they were relieved by the decision, which secured the home’s immediate future, but said questions remain about the long-term.
Sheena Welsh of Friends of Seaton Grove, said the group would scrutinise the plans carefully as more detail emerges.
She said: “Everyone was very relieved to hear the news, but the work does not stop there. There is a lot of detail still to come forward and as we understand it, this plan will involve a reduction of around ten beds.”
The Angus Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP) organises care locally with key decisions made by an Integration Joint Board. This includes staff from Angus Council, NHS Tayside and charity groups.
Angus South SNP MSP Graeme Dey welcomed the decision but called for a long-term care plan for the wider area.
He said: “This secures the future of this much-valued facility only for the “immediate” future.
“What we need for the Arbroath area is a long term plan, covering the next decade, which takes account of anticipated, residential, day and respite care need and demonstrates how this will be met, including being clear on the part to be played by Seaton Grove.”
He said he had been engaging directly with AHSCP officials following the announcement.
“It is important to understand what the loss of a likely ten beds is going to have on meeting demand now, going forward, and in a “provider of last resort” scenario.”
A spokesperson for the AHSCP Integration Joint Board said: “The intention is to change one wing of the provision at Seaton Grove to a mental health facility. The design is not yet progressed, but we anticipate the older people’s beds reducing by ten places from the current total of 48 beds.
“We believe that there is enough bed capacity in the Arbroath area to absorb this displaced demand. Some of the people entering the new facility may come from other care homes.”
She said the new facility would require new building works and refurbishment to bathroom and lounge facilities.
“The total cost is estimated at circa £1 million but this will require refinement and adjustment as the plans become more detailed. Capital funding will be sought from Angus Council capital budgets.”