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Development of Blawarthill to Go Ahead

November 27, 2009 10:52 AM

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NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has today (27 November 2009) announced that it is pressing ahead with its commitment to develop the Blawarthill site as part of its plans to modernise services for frail elderly patients.

Missives will now be concluded for the sale of the site in a contract that will see the creation of:
• 60 beds for frail elderly NHS patients to be staffed by NHS clinical staff - this will replace the current 60 NHS continuing care beds on the site
• 60 care home beds for social care
• 24 sheltered housing units for Yoker Housing Association
• Mainstream affordable housing
The decision to proceed with the sale of the land follows independent advice that the proposed transaction represents good value to the taxpayer.

The move takes the Board a step closer to its goal of reducing the number of continuing care beds across the city in line with other health boards across the country.

Robert Calderwood, Chief Executive of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “The proposed multi-agency redevelopment of the Blawarthill site has always offered the best solution for the changing needs of older people of West Glasgow.

“It offers the right mix of health and social care beds in the right location - as well as much-needed affordable homes and sheltered housing.

“For NHS patients and staff, it also means a move out of ageing 1970s buildings into modern, fit-for-purpose single room accommodation.

“When we reaffirmed our decision earlier this year to reduce the number of continuing care beds in the west of Glasgow, we agreed that we would press ahead with the Blawarthill redevelopment if it remained a value for money solution.

“Having now had this confirmed by independent NHS property advisors, we can move forward and conclude the contract with developer, the James Walker Group, and other key partners, Glasgow City Council and Yoker Housing Association.”

Councillor Archie Graham of Glasgow City Council said: "People in Glasgow West have made it very clear to us during an extensive consultation that they want to see services for older people remain at Blawarthill.

"We have also been working very closely with all of our partners in this project to ensure we achieve the appropriate balance between the different kinds of accommodation proposed for the site.

"The new accommodation planned for Blawarthill will see the Council better placed to meet the needs of our older and more vulnerable citizens.

"We are fully committed to the redevelopment at Blawarthill and we are pleased that the project is moving closer to being realised."

When the redeveloped Blawarthill opens in early 2013, the overall number of continuing care beds in the west of the city will reduce by 30 with St Margaret’s in Clydebank no longer providing this type of care.

A letter has been sent to St Margaret’s confirming the Board’s decision to proceed to redevelop Blawarthill and reaffirming our commitment to work with St Margaret’s to identify an alternative use for the 30 continuing care beds they manage.

Until this development is completed in 2013 our contract with St Margaret’s to provide continuing care beds for the west of the city will remain in place.
ENDS

For further information contact 0141 201 4429.

Background information

It is important to note that Blawarthill Hospital is not a private healthcare facility - only the new building will be provided by a private company and the patients in the NHS elderly care beds will continue to be cared for by NHS doctors, nurses and support staff, including cleaners and porters.

St Margaret’s Hospice consists of two wards – one providing specialist palliative (hospice) care to people of all ages and the other providing continuing care for older people on behalf of the Health Board.

We remain committed to continuing to fund the palliative service which St. Margaret’s provides. There are absolutely no plans to cut our funding for this service or close any of the palliative care beds.

We also pay St. Margaret’s to provide 30 long-term NHS continuing care beds and we want St Margaret’s to keep these beds, however in response to demand in the west of the city, we have asked them to change the use of these beds from NHS beds to care home places on behalf of the local authorities.

This is in keeping with what is happening throughout the rest of Scotland and we believe it to be the right way forward for the future needs of local older people.

We have already worked successfully in Greater Glasgow with four other providers of long-term NHS continuing care beds to change and adapt their services in line with national policy and future local needs.

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