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The Board of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde today reaffirmed its commitment to continuing to modernise and adapt services for the frail elderly to satisfy the changing needs of this group of patients.
It was agreed that the Health Board should continue the implementation of its ‘balance of care’ plan which will see a reduction in the number of continuing care beds across the city balanced by an increase in care home and home care services.
Today’s decision reaffirms the Board’s intention, together with key partner Glasgow City Council, to develop the Blawarthill site in Yoker which will see:
60 nursing home 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 nursing home beds for social care
24 sheltered housing units for Yoker Housing Association
Until this development is completed in 2012 our contract with St Margaret’s to provide 30 continuing care beds for the west of the city will remain in place.
During this three year period the Board has given an absolute assurance that the door will be left open for St Margaret’s to consider our alternative proposals for the change of use of these beds.
The Board also noted that St Margaret’s proposal that the 30 continuing care beds should be used to extend the existing palliative care service already offered by the hospice. Board members concluded that this proposal should be considered by the Managed Clinical Network for palliative care as part of its response to the nation consultation ‘Living and Dying Well.’
The Board Members reflected that in the four years since this issue was first raised with St. Margaret’s, they have so far refused to consider any of our alternative options despite our best endeavours to involve them in discussions.
Two alternatives for the use of these 30 beds were put to St Margaret’s but regrettably they have no been willing to consider either option.
The first option was for the continuing care beds at St. Margaret’s to become care home with nursing beds while the second option was that St Margaret’s becomes the provider of NHS continuing care for older people with mental health problems.
In both cases the alternative proposals would have secured a use for these 30 continuing care beds and avoided any adverse impact on the separate palliative care service. Both options would have brought no financial risk to St Margaret’s and we also offered to pay for any transitional costs associated with the change of use of these beds.
Campaigners continue to make claims that we are diverting funding from St Margaret’s to fund the development of Blawarthill Hospital. These claims are simply not true. The development of the new facility at Blawarthill is not dependent on any funding being released from St Margaret’s Hospice.
St Margaret’s Hospice in Clydebank 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 for terminally ill patients. There are absolutely no plans to cut our funding for this service or close any of the palliative beds provided for terminally ill patients.
We also pay St. Margaret’s £1.2 million every year 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.
For further information contact 0141 201 4429.