MSP ‘saddened’ as East Lothian Council closes Eskgreen Care Home in Musselburgh over costs
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Musselburgh MSP Colin Beattie (SNP) said he was saddened by the decision to close Eskgreen Care Home, in the town. But he stressed the importance of making sure the 18 residents currently living in the home have their best interests put first as they are relocated.
East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (ELHSCP) announced the decision to close the home yesterday (Monday) after a meeting was held behind closed doors with councillors last month. Councillors were told that a report from the Care Inspectorate earlier in the year had praised the standard of care provided at the home but raised ‘significant concerns’ about the buidling’s condition.
Eskgreen is one of a number of council-run care homes in East Lothian which were being looked at for replacement with new models prior to the Covid pandemic. A spokesperson for the partnership said its Community Hospitals and Care Home Provision Change Board was in the process of reviewing the existing service provision, public and private, alongside future population projections to identify and plan for the future need and provision across East Lothian.
They said: “We aim to achieve this by focusing on prevention initiatives, prioritising ‘home first’, integrating health and social care pathways, and maintaining dignity and respect when individuals require end of life care.”
They added: “As part of the long term strategy for future care, there will continue to be a need for dedicated care home facilities. ”
ELHSCP said the major renovation works required at Eskgreen to meet Care Inspectorate standards were extensive and would have reduced capacity. The council’s administration spokesperson for health and social care, Councillor Shamin Akhtar, said after considering the options the decision was taken to close the home.
She said: “Our priority in considering this matter is the health and well-being of residents currently residing at Eskgreen. The nature of the works required would be very challenging and, after careful consideration of this very important and sensitive matter, it was concluded that the relocation of residents to other care home facilities was the best future option.”
The home currently has 18 residents and 43 staff all of whom are expected to be deployed to other roles across the council’s social care teams.
Mr Beattie said of the news: “I am saddened to hear of the decision to permanently relocate residents and staff at Eskgreen Care Home and close the facility. Eskgreen is a well-respected care facility, and it will be missed. The decision regarding the future of the care facility was evidently a difficult one and the decision reached was the best option for all parties involved.
“It is important that the care of the residents is put at the forefront of any decision made about their future location.”
Health bosses say there is enough accommodation across the county to relocate residents with an empty wing at Crookston Care Home, Tranent, set to open permanently to support them. Talks with families, staff and residents are taking place as plans to move residents over the next few months get underway.
Fiona Wilson, ELHSCP chief officer, said: “Residents, their relatives and the staff at Eskgreen have been informed of the decision, and we are grateful for their understanding and support.
“There is currently sufficient provision to accommodate residents within alternative care facilities. Likewise, there are vacancies across social care services meaning that there are redeployment options for Eskgreen employees.”