Delegation to lobby in favour of care village


MEMBERS of an action group dedicated to bringing a care village to Langholm are taking their fight to the organisation which will make a decision on the proposal.

Langholm Action Project is sending a delegation to next Thursday's Integration Joint Board (IJB) meeting. The IJB was set up last year to oversee the integration of health and social care for adults.

Last November the board instructed Gary Sheehan, Annandale and Eskdale locality manager, to draw up a business plan for a care village and present it in April.

Instead, next week's report asks the board to "approve plans to proceed with further development work for the provision of a new extra care scheme in the Esk Valley".

They are asked to note that "plans to develop residential care provision for older adults in Esk Valley must be integrated into the wider development of service provision in Annandale and Eskdale to ensure such services are robust, sustainable and meet the current and future needs of the wider community".

They are also asked to note "the potential to reduce the number of patients inappropriately placed in the four cottage hospitals in Annandale and Eskdale through the development of a new intermediate care service".

Mr Sheehan said that if a care home with 26 nursing and residential beds was built, the overall additional cost of such a service was between £778,707 and £904,338 a year.

He said: "In August 2016 there were 26 adults from Eskdale resident in eight care homes outside the Esk Valley. Over the last 12 months 10 service users from Langholm and three from Canonbie have been placed in homes in Annandalel and Eskdale."

To be financially sustainable a care home would have to have 50 plus beds and this would create over-provision in Eskdale and restrict the development of an extra care service.

Lucy MacLeod, chairwoman of the action project, said she and Denis Male, a former board member, would meet Julie White, the board's chief operating officer, next Monday to discuss the care village before the board's meeting.

A petition voicing concern that the business plan was not presented last April, as planned, is gathering hundreds of signatures and a survey has so far elicited 71 responses.

Lucy said David McVittie was organising people to go door to door with the petition over the next week and they were looking for people in Newcastleton and Canonbie to get involved.

Mr Male pointed out that at Townfoot there was planning permission for a 64-bed care home and 26 flats. They could be built at any time if someone stepped in.

He also said that in five years' time the Thomas Hope Hospital could be closed.

"For the last 10 years we have had all sorts of people looking at what can be done there. It's been looked at from every angle. I've fought for 20 years to keep it going. I don't think it's feasible for it to go for more than five years. It can't be brought up to modern standards and has a backlog of maintenance.

"I believe the plan is that the hospital will stay open for the foreseeable future until other accommodation becomes available. Where will it be? It'll be in Annan if we don't get this care village."

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 10:43AM
Comment on this article

Generate a new code
Comments not OK? Click here to let us know