Better care plans will have a local focus

McClymont House in Lanark was previously reported as being one of the council care homes under threat of closure.
McClymont House in Lanark was previously reported as being one of the council care homes under threat of closure.

Conservative councillors claim they have ensured local patients will benefit from a new intermediate care facility.

They also say that any future changes across South Lanarkshire must only be decided when specific local plans are available.

The number of people aged over 85 is expected to rise by a third in just the next ten years. With people living longer there will be ever-greater need for services to support people to stay in their communities.

South Lanarkshire Council’s Social Work Committee considered proposals for a new transitional care model last week.

Evidence shows the approach helps prevent older people being forced into residential or nursing facilities when, with the right support, they could continue living in their own home.

There was near unanimous support for a new centre in Blantyre providing such care for up to 260 Lanarkshire-area patients every year.

However, that new facility faced being held-up as councillors were asked to approve changes across South Lanarkshire before knowing detailed plans for other areas, including Clydesdale.

A solution put forward by the Conservative Group was backed by independent councillors and duly accepted by the SNP administration.

The Tories’ amendment accepted proposals for the new centre, while also allowing councillors to later decide specific measures for other areas when those plans are made available.

Councillor Colin McGavigan is the Conservative Group’s acting spokesman for social work resources. He said: “We certainly support greater provision of transitional care to help people maintain their independence and continue to live safely in their own homes for as long as they feel able or want to.

“As a responsible opposition it would have been utterly wrong to stand in the way of a new facility that will deliver much-needed transitional care places.”