Plans to ‘revolutionise’ capital health care described as ‘premature’

Plans to ‘revolutionise’ health and social care services in the capital have been described as ‘premature’ by council leaders – who say staff have ‘been through the mill’ during the pandemic and should not be faced with upheaval.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 4:45 pm

The Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board – a health partnership between NHS Lothian and Edinburgh City Council – has set out a review of the bed-based services it commissions as part of a wider ‘transformation’ of health and care in the capital.

The review recommends:

– Decommissioning the intermediate care provided in the remaining wards at Liberton Hospital.

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Plans to ‘revolutionise’ capital health care have been described as ‘premature’. Picture: PA
Plans to ‘revolutionise’ capital health care have been described as ‘premature’. Picture: PA

– Decommissionioning Hospital Based Complex Clinical Care (HBCCC) beds provided at Findlay House and Ellen’s Glen House and provide these within the former residential care home facility in Drumbrae.

– Decommission the HBCCC beds provided at Ferryfield House, withdraw from the lease at intended break point and decommission service in October 2022.

The EIJB will also notify Edinburgh City Council of the EIJB’s intention to decommission the residential care currently provided at Clovenstone, Ford’s Road, Jewel House and Ferrylee care homes, and to decommission the residential care model provided at Drumbrae Care Home and signal its intent to provide HBCCC services within that facility.

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A report, set to go before the EIJB when it meets on Tuesday, June 22, reads: “[The EIJB] has now embarked on an ambitious change programme that will revolutionise health and social care services so that individuals can access the support they need to live healthy, independent lives.

“In line with the vision of the EIJB to deliver ‘a caring, healthier and safer Edinburgh’, the ambition is to create a sustainable bed base that meets the needs of the citizens of Edinburgh by providing the right care, by the right professionals, at the right time, in the right place.

“The existing bed base model was inherited and was not designed for future use with changes in demography and morbidity.

“The model in place was established based on the needs of the population at a point in time.

“We have an ageing population, many living with multi-morbidity which means the health and care requirements, especially in our older population, are more complex and challenging than previously experienced.”

However, Edinburgh council leaders have warned the EIJB against making sweeping changes in the wake of a tumultuous year for health care providers in the city.

Edinburgh City Council leader Adam McVey said: “We owe it to the older generation and those who can’t live at home to provide the very best care and support in the later years of their lives.

“Our care staff do an amazing job and continue to provide an excellent service. We do however accept that some of the buildings no longer fully meet the required standards to some of our residents in need of a lot of support the best quality of care they deserve.

“We will continue to work with the EIJB to invest in our buildings and bring the care home estate up to the best possible standards – but this requires a great deal of planning and sensitivity to make sure the needs of those in our care and their families remain our first and central concern.

“We believe the proposals going before the EIJB next week are premature and will be asking for the report to be paused to allow further planning and consultation so that our residents in affected care homes can decide what is right for them and their needs.

“We also want to see further progress on a strategic approach looking at community-based care, day care services and care at home so that we can help citizens stay in their own homes for as long as possible – something we know individuals and their families strongly support.”

Depute council Leader Cammy Day said: “Our care home residents and loyal, dedicated colleagues have really been through the mill these past 15 months or so and while we acknowledge there’s a need to make sure our buildings are meeting the necessary standards, it’s unsettling and unhelpful to have the prospect of upheaval raised when things are still so uncertain with the virus.

“It’s vital also that the partnership enters into meaningful engagement with the trade unions on these plans so that they can make sure their members are fully informed and involved in the process throughout.

“We will continue to work with the EIJB to invest in our buildings and bring the care home estate up to the best possible standards– but this requires a great deal of planning and sensitivity to make sure the needs of those in our care and their families remain our first and central concern.

“This situation also points up the need for a proper national investment programme from the Scottish Government into social care so that councils and health authorities can work together to provide the best possible care for our older and most vulnerable citizens.”

Joseph Anderson, Local Democracy Reporting Service

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