• MySTV

Union warns care home closures will be a 'disaster' 

Unison is urging ministers to prevent Bield from closing its 12 nursing homes.

Elderly woman holding hands with young person. Care home, caring picture from iStockphoto

The Scottish Government is being urged to step in and prevent care company Bield from "abandoning" scores of elderly people by closing its 12 nursing homes in Scotland.

The firm announced its plans in October, saying that financial constraints meant it had to look differently at how the business operates.

Unison has warned the closures would be a "disaster", as 160 elderly people will lose their home and up to 200 care workers face compulsory redundancy.

The union has been campaigning against the proposals, and has arranged a public meeting in Glasgow for relatives to voice their concerns.

Bield, a not-for-profit organisation, is to shut its homes in Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, Borders, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian.

Unison suggests this could happen by the summer.

John Gallacher, the union's Scottish organiser, said it had been working to support affected families and was lobbying hard to stop the closures.

He said: "We are disappointed that Scottish Government ministers seem content to stand by and let the closures happen, when the lives of vulnerable elderly people are at risk, and the jobs of essential care workers in many Scottish communities are being jettisoned.

"If it goes ahead it will be a disaster."

Mr Gallacher also said integrated joint boards, set up by the government to be responsible for health and social care in difference areas, should be subjected to proper political and public scrutiny and held accountable for allowing "damaging developments" to take place within short timescales.

He added: "The public meeting on Saturday will again call for action on Bield's abandonment of residential elderly care."

'If it goes ahead it will be a disaster.'
John Gallacher, Unison

Announcing the closure plans, Bield said it had "made the very difficult decision to withdraw from the residential care home market".

A statement said: "This is a fundamental step and one which we do not take lightly, but it is in the best interests of the long-term future and sustainability of our organisation."

The company described the withdrawal of care home services as "very much a last resort option", saying it had been unable to find a viable long-term alternative.

And it stressed it was aware of the serious impact the move would have on residents, their families and those working in the homes and was working to minimise this as far as possible.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "We recognise how unsettling this decision has been for all the residents, families and employees affected.

"We are working with Bield and all relevant agencies to ensure that residents' care needs continue to be met.

"The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport is due to meet the chief executive of Bield Housing and Care later this month to discuss progress."

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.


We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.


Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.


Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.



Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.