THE ONLY local authority run care home in Brechin, St Drostan’s House, is to close, Angus Council has announced.
The announcement came as a shock to the town, as there had been no indication that the home was to close as it had recently received praise for the high level of service it provided in a Care Inspectorate report. However, concerns were raised in the report over the lack of en-suite facilities and the council’s funding crisis has been blamed for the decision to close the building, resulting in 14 residents having to be relocated.
Furious locals took to the Brechin Advertiser’s Facebook page to vent their frustration at the decision.
Joan Finlayson said: “It should never have been allowed to get so bad that they have to close it. You don’t neglect your own house until it is falling down so why do the council allow that to happen!”
Wilima Warden said: “As a retired member of staff of 20 [years]. I am sad to hear of the demise of St Drostans and feel it is going to be a huge loss to Brechin as well as unsettling and traumatic for both resident and staff who are currently there. Surely we should be able to care for our older people in a small ‘family’ type environment like St Drostans where the care provided is second to none.”
Tracey Robertson posted: “There should be more public meetings about changes and how these things impact the people involved! St Drostans is just the start! They’ll be after our police station next! I’d say its about time the people of Brechin arranged a meeting to discuss how we can challenge these issues!”
Gwen Longmuir said that the council “should be adding on to the building and looking after our old people, after all the majority of them have paid their taxes, [national insurance] contributions. The council have an obligation to the community, so they should be listening to us, after all its the local people who voted for them.”
Mark Arbuthnott added: “I understand the council need to save money but taking it out on the most vulnerable members of our community is utterly unacceptable. The simple truth is that nowhere within the private care sector in Angus will these elderly people be cared for to the standard attained at St Drostans despite what Angus Council may try to tell us.”
Angus Council Convener of Social Work and Health, Councillor Glennis Middleton said: “It is with much regret that we have taken the decision to begin the process of closing St Drostans.
“Although the care received by residents at the home from our excellent staff is second to none, the building itself is no longer fit for purpose and does not meet the standards expected nowadays in care homes for older people.
“Even if the considerable costs of work were not a factor, the Victorian building does not lend itself to the extensive remodelling which would be required.
“We are concentrating our efforts on finding appropriate and suitable alternative accommodation for all the residents in the home in consultation with their families.
“We will at all times ensure that the needs of the residents are dealt with sympathetically and with every sensitivity.
“At the same time, we are talking individually and in detail with our valued members of staff and working with them to find appropriate alternative employment for them within the council.”