Older people will die if home closes campaigners warn

Older people will die if the Church of Scotland proceeds with
its plans to close a residential unit according to a group of
relatives campaigning against the closure of Leslie House in

The Church of Scotland Board of Social Responsibility, one of
the largest voluntary social care providers in the country,
announced its intention to close nine care units including Leslie
House in April. The church blamed the ‘care gap’
between the cost of providing care and the fees allowed by local

Now a pressure group of relatives called the Leslie House 21
Group is claiming the church failed to inform or consult either
residents or their close families breaching their human rights and
the church’s duty to care.

David Kellock, the church’s deputy director of social
work, explained that it had spent £832,000 in additional
revenue on Leslie House over the past five years and £162,000
last year alone. In addition they have costed essential upgradings
to the building at £1.5 million.

Kellock, said: “The decision is made by them (the church’s board
of social responsibility) in private to avoid what could be
unnecessary anxiety by the service users and their families. Also,
we have to bear in mind the commercial implications that could be
compromised if such a decision was made openly.”

The Leslie House 21 Group also claims that two local private
providers have shown interest in running Leslie House as a viable
concern, but the church has rejected these approaches out of

Campaign group chairperson Christine Jackson, whose mother is
resident of Leslie House, said: “Many of the original 21 residents
are physically and mentally frail with advanced degrees of
dementia. It has been well established since 1997 that moving such
vulnerable people away from those carers and the environment they
have grown to know, suddenly and without any say can prove

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