Up to 50 new jobs are to be created in and around Lanark, thanks to the founding of a new home care service for the elderly.
The announcement of the formation of Home Instead Senior Care came just days after NHS Lanarkshire told a public meeting at Lanark Memorial Hall that it was moving away from treating old folk in hospitals such as the town’s mothballed Lockhart and concentrating on more intensive home care.
In what seems a direct response to the NHS’s new strategy, Lanark born-and bred-accountant Alan Barr announced the creation of his new company on Monday, saying that its 30 to 50 employees would provide care for the elderly in their homes in the Lanark, Carluke and Biggar areas.
Although he has spent his life in the financial services industry rather than the care sector, Alan said that he was inspired to form the new company by his personal experience of having an elderly mum in need of support.
He explained: “Until recently, I had no experience of the care sector, but once my mum was diagnosed with dementia, I suddenly found myself in the thick of it.
“My parents were living independently at home, and my dad had become my mum’s full-time carer.
“We got in touch with various care providers and charities, but there wasn’t enough help available to keep mum at home, and she was later moved to a local care home.”
That led Alan to realise that he was not alone and that his distressing experience was shared by many other families around Clydesdale and the rest of the country.
He said that he was already pleased with the standards set out at the very start of the new company, pledging: “We will provide quality care, with a minimum of one-hour calls, at a set time and with the same care-giver.
“This is because we want time to care and to build long and trusting relationships.”
He promised that “Home Instead Senior Care services will be tailored to the needs of each client.
“It can include such services as companionship, day-to-day housework, shopping, meal preparation, assistance with dressing, bathing, eating and medications and household duties. Visits vary from one hour to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Potential applicants to join the company’s care team are asked to call 01555 666474 or visit www.homeinstead.co.uk/southlanarkshire.
The very name chosen for the new business, Home Instead Senior Care, appears designed to fit in with the new NHS Lanarkshire Achieving Excellence strategy debated at last Tuesday night’s meeting at Lanark Memorial Hall.
A succession of health chiefs repeated assurances that no final decision has been made to close the Lockhart Hospital permanently.
However, the audience were left in little doubt that a return to the old Lockhart, with 30 beds mostly occupied by elderly patients with a GP in charge of medical care, was very unlikely to happen.
One main reason advanced for that decision was a lack of GPs throughout the NHS system.