Two specialist sight loss care homes at risk of closure

Sight Scotland are proposing to close Jenny's Well in Paisley and Braeside House in Edinburgh.

Two specialist sight loss care homes at risk of closure Google Maps

Two specialist care homes that support people with sight loss are set to shut, with bosses citing “unsustainable financial losses”.

Sight Scotland chiefs have said they are proposing to close Jenny’s Well, a state-of-the-art care home in Paisley, as well as the charity’s other home – Braeside House in Edinburgh.

It is understood dozens of jobs are now under threat and staff are currently going through a consultation process.

Jenny’s Well opened its doors in 2017 and was built alongside the Hawkhead Centre for visually impaired veterans as part of a £17m groundbreaking project.

But Sight Scotland has been forced to delve into the charity’s own reserves to keep the specialist facility going during the coronavirus pandemic.

During 2019/20, the Hawkhead Road home reported a deficit of £730,000, and bosses have now been told there is little chance of transforming its fortunes following the devastating impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Mark O’Donnell, chief executive of Sight Scotland, said: “It is with great sadness we have announced we are proposing to potentially close our two care homes for older people, Jenny’s Well in Paisley and Braeside House in Edinburgh.

“An increasingly difficult financial environment for care homes has meant we have had to subsidise heavily our older people’s care homes from our charitable reserves to a level that is no longer sustainable.

“Jenny’s Well reported a financial deficit of £730,000 for the year ending 2019/20. The pandemic has thrown these issues into sharp relief. 

“We have sought independent expert advice from different sources, all of which has sadly concluded there is little realistic prospect of turning this around.

“We are engaging in a consultation process with affected staff and will be supporting the residents and their families in their transition to alternative care arrangements. 

“We will continue to provide care to residents until alternative provision has been identified for them, and we will be working closely with health and social care partnerships during this process.”

Story by local democracy reporter Stephanie Brawn

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