A NEW care home will be built in the Capital in an effort to end bed-blocking by 2016.
The £9 million facility in Dumbryden will be paid for by selling land and buildings currently used for elderly care to developers.
And it could eventually be joined by two other council-built care homes once cash can be found.
The plans come after figures revealed that NHS Lothian remained the worst health board in Scotland for bed-blocking, with 33,000 bed days taken up by patients who were well enough to be discharged to care homes between January and March this year.
The Evening News revealed last month how bed-blocking was also causing operations to be cancelled, with 568 patients waiting beyond a 12-week treatment target.
Age Scotland said the figures were “unacceptable”, while Jim Crombie, NHS Lothian director of scheduled care, said the problem was “compromising elective care”.
There are currently 2854 care home beds in the city, with just 587 provided by the council.
City officials admit there is a “significant shortage” and have welcomed plans aimed at ensuring accommodation is available for those who need it.
Councillor Ricky Henderson, health, social care and housing leader, said: “We are part-way through a programme of trying to replace a number of care homes and renew and upgrade them to modern standards.
“This will be a modern space – and the lighting and colour scheme will be designed in such a way to assist people with dementia. It will help people find their way around the new centre, meaning they are not disoriented or confused.”
Proposals for the Dumbryden centre come after work began on an £8m home in Corstorphine earlier this year.
The operator, Care Concern Group, said its two-storey facility would create up to 100 jobs both during and after construction.
Designed to promote independent living, it will also have gym equipment, a bar, a putting green and a bowling green for more active residents.
Peter Gabbitas, director of health and social care for the city council and NHS Lothian, said the new centres were part of a wider strategy.
He said: “We’re expanding care at home services at an even faster rate – we want to support as many people as possible in their own homes.”
Inspectors find cause for concern
A CARE home has been ordered to make urgent improvements after inspectors voiced serious concerns.
Meadowvale care home in Bathgate, West Lothian, was awarded the bottom grade by the Care Inspectorate following a visit in August where officers found problems with staffing and meeting care guidelines.
The home, which has 52 elderly residents, had failed to make most of the changes recommended by inspectors during a previous visit in March.
The Inspectorate said there “continues to be considerable work and investment required to ensure that this service improves”.
A spokesman said: “We are monitoring them closely.”
A spokeswoman for Meadowvale apologised for the home falling “below the standards that we expect to provide”.
“We have accepted the Care Inspectorate requirements and we have been working hard to implement a comprehensive improvement plan,” she said.