Fears for OAPs as home faces axe

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CONCERNS have been raised for the welfare of 55 vulnerable residents living in an under-threat care home.

Doson Ltd, the parent company of Crofthead House Nursing Home in Fauldhouse, West Lothian, has gone into receivership, casting doubt over the future of the facility.

The receiver, Price Waterhouse Cooper, has appointed a company to run the home on an interim basis as it hunts for a buyer. But almost two months after it was announced that Doson Ltd was in administration the home, which provides 24-hour care to its elderly residents, remains on the market.

And the SNP group on West Lothian Council has called on the local authority to buy the home and run it itself – saying it would end uncertainty for residents, families and staff. SNP health and care spokesperson Councillor Janet Campbell said there were only 23 free care home beds in West Lothian, five of them respite beds, meaning Crofthead House’s 48 residents from the area would face a crisis if it was forced to suddenly close.

“It’s obvious that 48 into 23 doesn’t go,” Cllr Campbell said. “If something happened and the receiver decided it couldn’t continue we wouldn’t have enough beds for all of the residents. That would have a devastating impact for them and their families.

“I strongly believe it is in the best interests of all West Lothian residents for West Lothian Council, without further delay, to explore all the possibilities open to us to bring the Crofthead Nursing Home under direct ownership and management. At the moment the Labour Party are saying ‘wait and see’. I don’t think wait and see is good enough.”

In its most recent report from the Care Inspectorate, carried out in February, the home was rated very good for the quality of care offered, along with its environment, and the quality of staffing, management and leadership.

At a meeting of the council’s executive this week, Cllr Campbell’s motion calling for the council to explore acquiring the home was rejected by opposition councillors.

Price Waterhouse Cooper has said it is confident of finding a buyer for the site, with Doson Ltd’s four care homes in England thought to be behind its financial collapse.

West Lothian Council leader John McGinty accused the SNP of “simply playing politics” over the future of Crofthead House. He added: “The approach being taken by the council is no different to that which was taken when the SNP led West Lothian Council prior to the elections in May.

“We have contingency plans in place and have established key contacts for residents and their relatives.”