Committee to make decision on future of Fife care homes

After months of discussion the future of several under-threat Fife Council care homes will be decided next week.

Members of the social work and health committee will decide the fate of all 10 local authority facilities at a meeting on Tuesday.

More than 660 people responded to a consultation exercise set up by the council as it bids to make millions of pounds in savings.

Their views will be considered by councillors — along with the minutes of meetings conducted with residents, day care service users and their families at each of the 10 care homes.

Details of opinions expressed during meetings with care home staff will also be put before elected members.

Options open to councillors include retention of all 10 homes.

Alternatively, the council may decide to build two residential care homes — one in Kirkcaldy and one in Dunfermline — leaving the fate of the others up in the air.

The councillors could also agree to transfer the council homes to the private sector.

A spokeswoman warned the need to make “significant” financial savings will be a major factor.

She said, “Fife council’s residential care homes were built in a time of plenty and now need to radically modernise to meet the demands of the 21st century and beyond.”

The spokeswoman said the rights and well being of elderly people would remain a top priority.

“The one constant to remain is the council’s policy on choice, where older people who require residential care — and their families — will continue to be able to choose which care home they wish to live in,” she added.

Rona Laing, head of older peoples’ services, said “I thank all who participated in the consultation process, the feedback from which has been collated and gone into the report for members’ consideration.

“While, as officers, we have been tasked to maximise every penny received, ultimately the decision regarding the future of residential, respite and day care services in Fife will be taken by elected members.

“No matter what shape older people services takes in the months and years ahead, Fife Council remains committed to ensuring that those who are most vulnerable receive the highest quality care and support.”