Alarm at Scottish care home closures

Alarm at Scottish care home closures Campaigners have raised
concerns over the care of older people in Scotland after official
figures revealed that nearly 150 care homes have closed in the last
five years.

Age Concern Scotland warned that the closures, together with a
1.9 per cent fall since March 2000 in the number of registered
places available, threatened the quality of care for the

Although 68 homes have opened in the same period, the charity
said these were mostly large enterprises run by commercial
companies unable to provide a “homely” service.

The private sector has opened more than three times as many
homes as the voluntary sector in the past five years, the Scottish
executive figures show.

Jessica Barrow, spokeswoman for Age Concern Scotland, said
smaller homes and those run by voluntary organisations were
increasingly being forced to close because of competition from
larger homes.

Joe Campbell, chief executive of care home association Scottish
Care, warned the closures were likely to increase in the run-up to
2007, when all care homes will have to meet new standards set by
the Care Commission.

Scotland’s deputy health minister, Lewis Macdonald, stressed
that despite the decrease in registered places since 2000, the
number of places had been rising since September 2003.


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