Edinburgh’s Gylemuir care home to close as part of £2m cost saving plans

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A care home is set to be shut as part of a financial rescue package for health services in the Capital – which still leaves a gap of £12m of cuts to be found.

The Edinburgh Integration Joint Board (IJB) will set its 2019/20 budget on Friday – which includes closing down Gylemuir House Care Home in a bid to save £2.25m from next year’s finances.

General View of Gylemuir House care home. Picture: Ian Rutherford

General View of Gylemuir House care home. Picture: Ian Rutherford

The board is expecting to receive £660m for health and social care services next year – £212m from the city council and £448m from NHS Lothian. But health bosses say they need £684.3m for the next financial year – leaving them with a funding gap of £24m before the financial year has even started.

A financial recovery plan has been drawn up by officers in an attempt to cut the deficit in half – including shutting down the Gylemuir care home in Corstorphine. The temporary home was reduced from 60 to 40 residents last year and currently has 21 residents.

The transitional facility is used for residents who are discharged from hospital before they move into a permanent care home – staying an average of six to eight weeks. The home will not close until all residents are re-homed and staff will be redeployed to other care facilities.

Other measures in the £11.6m recovery package, set to be agreed, includes a cut of £736,000 from mental health and disability services including “reviews of current packages of care” and a review of mental health placements outside of the city. Charges for services including care at home and day care are set to rise by five per cent in an attempt to cut £500,000 next year.

Judith Proctor, chief officer of the Edinburgh IJB, said: “The budget paper sets out clearly our challenges as a board in delivering our strategic ambitions within the financial constraints we face as a public body.

“The budget paper sets out all the work we have done to date to identify savings 
proposals which, if agreed and delivered, go some way towards helping us manage within the funding delegated to us by the City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian.

“However, despite the work undertaken to date, we have not as yet been able to present a balanced budget and we still have a gap between the savings proposed and the budget available.

“The board will be discussing both the savings proposals and managing the gap when it meets. We recognise the challenge ahead of us and are determined to minimise any negative impact on service delivery.”

Financial officers say the current lease for Gylemuir House “does not permit the physical upgrades and improvements which are necessary to meet the terms of Care Inspectorate registration” and will need to be closed.

In order to balance the books in 19/20, up to £6m could also be taken out of the IJB’s reserves. A spokesperson for the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “All of our current residents will continue to be supported toward their preferred longer term placement and the proposal to close Gylemuir House will be progressed once we have achieved that.”

Miles Briggs MSP for Lothian, and shadow cabinet secretary for health, said: “The proposed closure of Gylemuir care home would present a real backwards step and arguably further destabilise the care crisis being experienced across the Capital.

“The cuts to overnight at home care support as well as the reduction in day support from five to four days will ultimately lead to some of the most vulnerable people in our society being left and when the system fails end up in hospital adding additional pressure to NHS Lothian.

“It is time SNP Minsters understood the dire straits the Edinburgh Integrated Joint Board finds itself in today and the negative consequences these cuts will have across Edinburgh health and social care sector.”