An increase in people seeking care at home and a reduction in demand for care home placements has led to a decision to decommission permanent and respite bed provision at Beech Hill House in Forfar.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Angus Integration Joint Board on Wednesday 23 February 2022.
Work will now begin on proposals that would see the 16 beds (8 long-term/8 respite) withdrawn from Beech Hill House and thereafter be provided, in addition to respite services, by the independent sector at different premises.
A spokesperson for the Angus Health and Social Care Partnership said: “There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated what was already a clear direction of travel where people clearly exercise a preference towards care at home. Our older people are increasingly wanting to remain within their own homes as opposed to residential care.
“This led to the IJB decision in autumn 2021 to reduce its commissioning of Angus Health and Social Care Partnership care home beds by approximately 40 placements, including a reduction of up to 20 internal beds.
“This allows us to re-direct and invest those resources into our care at home service where demand is greatest and into preventative work.”
A seven-week public consultation from 22 November 2021 to 7 January 2022 also informed the process and the decision taken by the IJB. The process also included various meetings with residents, families, carers, staff and trade unions, to seek their views and preferences.
The spokesperson added: “We fully recognise that it is the eight long-term residents, their relatives and our staff that this decision has greatest impact on and it is their welfare that will be of utmost importance moving forward. They are all individuals in their own right and their individual needs and preferences will be fully considered.
“Every effort will be taken to ensure they are fully involved and informed throughout the process of finding alternative arrangements and accommodation. We want to ensure they are all fully supported and that any impact created by this move is kept to a minimum.”
Work will begin immediately to find suitable alternative employment for the extremely skilled, committed and highly valued workforce currently at Beech Hill House, to ensure staff are retained and to avoid any redundancies.
Angus IJB will also consider what Beech Hill House can be used for in the future.