Council to adopt new community hubs for care of the elderly

The council estimate that the new system will provide more employment opportunities.
The council estimate that the new system will provide more employment opportunities.

South Lanarkshire Council is to replace outdated residential care homes with modern community based care hubs in a move that will deliver better care to more people in Clydesdale.

The council currently has eight care homes and is highly regarded for the quality of care provided, however research shows most people want to stay at home and the new care hub model is designed to make that possible.

It will do this by providing intermediate care for older people who do not need to be in hospital and should be able to return home after a relatively short period of help from a range on on-site specialists, such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

Leader of South Lanarkshire Council Councillor John Ross said: “While our staff deliver the best possible care we know that four of our homes are nearing the end of their design life. This is an opportunity to develop a new model of care designed to improve the lives of older people by supporting them to stay in their own homes.”

Chair of South Lanarkshire Council’s Social Work Resources Committee Councillor John Bradley said: “All too often being admitted to a residential home or hospital as a result of a short term issue, such as ill health or a fall, results in an older person moving into long-term care not because of the original problem but as a result of a prolonged period of bed based care.”

“Our community care hubs will support more effective rehabilitation and reablement that will help people to return to living in their own home, where they want to be.”

The council is to hold further consultations as plans are developed for Clydesdale but the first hub is set for the Hamilton and Blantyre area. In addition to 20 en-suite rooms it will offer services including Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Social Work assessments and support.

The hub will, in addition, be a base for the delivery of those services to older people in the community on site and on an outreach basis.

There will be a centre of excellence where training for existing staff, new recruits and carers will be delivered to develop the skills and capacity to support better care for more people in their own homes, and increase employment opportunities for the local community.

Executive Director, Health and Social Care, Val de Souza said: “We want to deliver the highest standards of care and to recognise people’s desire to be in their own home.

“When people need a level of care that cannot be delivered at home the hubs will support short stay care geared towards recovery, rehabilitation and getting more people back home where they want to be.

“We have been testing this model since 2016 in three of our care homes and the results have been overwhelmingly positive, well over half of service users have been able to return to their own homes.”

The Hamilton area Hub will be based on the former site of St Joseph’s Primary in Blantyre replacing Larkhall’s McWhirter House and Blantyre’s Kirkton House – two South Lanarkshire care homes where the older design makes them ill suited to support modern care and accessibility standards.

Alongside the care hub the surrounding site will also feature technology enabled housing which will offer individuals, families and carers the chance to stay together but with easy access to services in a home designed to support independent living and the delivery of care.

The hub model puts services for older people at the heart of communities to support recovery and reablement; supported living in the associated housing; and longer, happier independent living for older people in their own homes in their own communities.

The Hamilton Area Hub will provide a model for the rest of South Lanarkshire. However how services are delivered will be tailored suit local needs, resources and geography.