Scottish care provider Bield is pulling out of residential care homes following a strategic review.
Bield said it would be closing 12 nursing homes as part of a five-year plan designed to secure its long-term future.
Brian Logan, Chief Executive of Bield, said: “As a result of this new strategy, we have made the very difficult decision to withdraw from the residential care home market by July 2018. This decision affects all our 12 care homes in Scotland. In a small number of cases discussions are continuing with alternative providers which would mean the services could continue.
“The decision is very much a last resort option. We have carefully considered a wide range of options to continue delivery of these services, however, we have been unable to find a solution that will be viable in the longer term.”
The closure will affect 160 residents and 200 care home workers at services across Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, Borders, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian.
Bield said it would continue to operate an element of care provision through its Bield at Home service and would work with partners to develop Housing with Care services.
Martin Green, CEO of Care England, told Care Home Professional: “Bield has taken a long term and strategic view of both current and future need, and is reconfiguring service to be appropriate for the 21st Century.
“It is important to understand that with changing needs and aspirations, services may well be reconfigured to respond to new needs. Even if services have to change, it is important that organisations hold fast to the values of social care and put people who use services at the centre of planning.”
John Gallacher, UNISON Scottish Organiser, said: “First minister, Nicola Sturgeon must intervene and ask how Bield Housing’s management team got themselves into this position. This is a disaster for families across Scotland and it questions the role of government, integrated joint boards, NHS and local authorities.
“The task of making alternative arrangements will fall back on public authorities, the tax payer and individual families at a few months notice. This is at a time when demand for care services can only increase. As a charity, using public funds, Bield Housing must be held accountable.”