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Director focus article: Plans to modernise care for adults and older people progress

Published: Monday, 10 June 2019

Director focus article: Plans to modernise care for adults and older people progress

Our Director of Health and Social Care focuses on plans to modernise care for adults and older people across South Lanarkshire.

"Working together to improve health and wellbeing in the community – with the community.

In many of my previous articles and blogs I’ve outlined examples of our vision in action. 

This edition is no different – as we progress with major plans to modernise care for adults and older people across South Lanarkshire.

As we continue to strengthen many of our community-based supports, increasingly, people who might previously have moved into a care home on a long term basis because of ill health and/or increasing dependency can be supported in their own home.

This situation is not just about us working to national policy. It’s also about responding to what we’re hearing loud and clear.

The public have told us – in various forms of dialogue – that, where at all possible, they would prefer to be cared for in their own homes.

The ongoing programme of modernising our care homes seeks to build on this desire for ‘home first’ care and support.

Crucially, the programme will also be built on the strong partnership foundations that are making this increase in independent living possible.

In terms of the journey so far . . .

We announced a year ago that we are investing in providing the best services to support care at home while continuing to provide high quality residential care when it’s most appropriate.

An investment in Hamilton/Blantyre marks out the first phase. It will focus on a state-of-the-art, new-build facility at the site of the former St Joseph’s school in Blantyre, which is now subject to the normal planning process.

The new Care Hub which will serve South Lanarkshire, has four distinct elements:

  • 20 transitional care beds for adults and older people (transitional care offers short term support with the objective of allowing people to return home following a period of ill health or crisis. Transitional care can also be preventative, preventing hospital admission)
  • A centre of excellence – specialising in training and development of health and social care staff. Although unique to the proposed Hamilton/Blantyre facility, this will support all localities.
  • A community-facing hub featuring: A café; Demonstration site (showcasing our Telehealth technology and how that can improve lives); Guidance and support for unpaid carers; Linkage and signposting into a raft of community-based voluntary and third sector support
  • 20 technology enabled homes for adults and older people.

 

The focus is very much on the aforementioned desire for people to remain at home when possible and appropriate. This is also geared to supporting the increasing number of unpaid carers in our communities.

At its meeting on Wednesday 8th May, South Lanarkshire Council’s Social Work Committee voted in favour of a site at Flush Park, beside Lanark Lifestyles, Lanark as the preferred option for a second Care Hub that will serve Clydesdale.

The Lanark Hub will include long term residential care beds and similarly will also offer transitional care. The Hub will replace Lanark’s existing council run care home McClymont House which will continue to offer residential care until the new facility is built.

The Council’s Social Work Committee also gave its backing to the continued development of proposals to site a third Care Hub in the Larkhall/Stonehouse Area. Plans for this third Hub are at an early stage but like the above, they include proposals for short, long stay and transitional care – all supported by the robust infrastructure of the partnership. This includes a strong, community-facing ethos.

That’s the essential guide, so far. The actual detail around these developments is vast, as you’d imagine. And in terms of the longer terms plans that are at an early stage, there’s many variables that we’re scoping out. What I can be very clear about now and going forward is the following points.

  • I make a renewed commitment to being open and fully transparent. We’ve embarked on widespread engagement already with stakeholders and communities and will continue to do so. If you have a question get in touch (see contact section of website) and either myself or one of my team will come back to you.
  • As well as keeping you fully updated about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it– my unmitigated focus is on why we’re doing this. In effect, we are developing a model of care that will enhance our ability to meet changing care needs, particularly in light of significant population change over the last 20 years.. This is about improving people’s lives - and offering real choice.

 

In short, these two points are perhaps best summed up by returning to our vision statement - and guiding principle.

Working together to improve health and wellbeing in the community – with the community."

Thank you for reading,

Val de Souza

Director of Health and Social Care

South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership.