Bield closure sparks call to reopen Lanark’s Lockhart

Langvout Care Home in Biggar which is closing down.  Picture Sarah Peters.
Langvout Care Home in Biggar which is closing down. Picture Sarah Peters.

Calls are being made to reopen Lanark’s largely-mothballed Lockhart Hospital to accommodate old folk set to be displaced by the closure of Biggar’s Langvout Court Care Home.

The announcement by the Bield charity that it is to close down the Biggar home, along with its other care homes, next year has left relatives of its 12 residents seeking new accommodation for them.

Now the Save the Lockhart pressure group, campaigning for a full reopening of the hospital as a geriatric unit, is suggesting what it calls “the obvious solution.”

A spokesman for the group told the Gazette: “If the Lockhart was still open to elderly patients, it would have been the obvious place to re-home the Langvout residents.

“As the Biggar home is not to close until next July, that gives NHS Lanarkshire bags of time to get the Lanark hospital ready to receive them.

“It would serve the dual purpose of putting the fears of the Langvout residents’ families to rest and seeing the Lockhart back doing the job it did so well for many years.”

When asked for its reaction to the pressure group’s calls, NHS Lanarkshire sent a statement from South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership director Val de Souza saying: “We are continuing to test approaches to providing a new model of care for the people of Clydesdale.

“We will continue to work with local community stakeholders and will provide further updates as this work progresses.”

Clydesdale MSP Aileen Campbell said: “I know that representatives from the Scottish Government will be considering what support Bield can be provided with at a national level, and I will be making sure everything is considered.”

Biggar area South Lanarkshire councillor Ian McAllan stated: “Getting the right support for the residents is my number one priority, and I will be doing what I can to ensure the council’s response understands their particular needs, particularly in the rural community Langvout serves.”

Biggar’s MP, David Mundell, commented: “Bield need to urgently outline what their plans are for the future in terms of any care home provision. I will be writing to the council to ask them how they plan to support the care sector going forward to allow our elderly residents to get the care and support that they so badly need.”