Residents protest over home closure

Residents at a social care residential unit are occupying their
care home in defiance of the Church of Scotland, one of the largest
care providers in Scotland.

Leslie House in Fife was one of nine care units marked for
closure by the Church of Scotland in April for financial reasons.
Relatives of the residents set up the Leslie House 21 Group
claiming no one had been consulted over the closure and that other
ways of retaining the home had not been explored.

Relatives and residents say that they will not move from Leslie
House in spite of the Church’s planned closure date of 31 July. The
campaigners have warned that they are prepared for a lengthy
stand-off until “the physical, mental and social well-being” of the
older people is secured.

The Church’s depute director of social work, David Kellock, said
the decision to close Leslie House was taken in private “to avoid
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.”

Kellock said the Church had spent an additional £832,000 on
Leslie House in the past five years and £162,000 last year.
Essential upgrading has been estimated at £1.5m.

Christine Jackson, a social work manager in Nottingham who
chairs the campaign group and whose mother is a resident at the
home, said: “The outcome of negotiations on Leslie House has
implications for the care of people everywhere. If we are
successful we may change how organisations are allowed to make
decisions on the closure of care homes in every authority in the

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