Ten nursing homes in Belgium belonging to the French group Orpea are set to close as a result of financial difficulties, Le Soir reports. In Brussels, this will account for roughly a third of the large care provider’s facilities.
Under plans presented at an extraordinary board meeting in Paris, seven of the group’s care homes in Brussels will close, as well as three in Flanders. According to Fabien Boucqueau, a delegate of the CNE union, a €90 million plan was presented to staff to “reposition” the company in terms of quality of care, focusing particularly on dementia.
It is expected that the closure of some Brussels care homes will be used to reinvest in the quality of its remaining facilities, investing in therapists and other support staff. Some of the group’s care homes in the capital currently have a low occupancy rate. The group intends to close those with low rates of attendance and merge them together to ensure profitability.
The decision to close the care facilities across Belgium still needs to be validated by the company’s board of directors.
“The optimistic scenario, in which we believe, is that Orpea validates Orpea Belgium’s plan and we continue. The pessimistic scenario is that the group does not believe in this plan, or partially, and that it is necessary to seek new investors to ensure the sustainability of the activity in Belgium,” the union representative said.
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The plans have generally been poorly received by Orpea Belgium’s 4,000 staff members and residents.
Staff lament that they will be pulled away from their patients and that some residents will be forced to move to other facilities. Nevertheless, employees are thankful that the French company intends to preserve their jobs.