In March this year our longstanding plans to redevelop the Blawarthill site, including re providing the 60 continuing care beds currently provided in poor accommodation into brand new accommodation, fell through due to contractual reasons.
The original plan was that the NHS beds at Blawarthill Hospital would be replaced as part of an overall development of the site with a purpose built facility alongside local authority care home beds and social housing.
Following the collapse of these plans we lifted the formal notice to close the 30 continuing care beds at St Margaret’s Hospice and in May began a review of NHS continuing care beds to consider both the future numbers and locations of continuing care beds for the West of the city.
As part of this review process we involved some 500 stakeholders including staff, patients and their families, andlocal community interests.
Today the Board of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) heard the outcome of this initial review which concluded that:
• As a result of declining numbers of continuing care admissions across the city a maximum of 30 continuing care beds would be required on the Blawarthill site
• That operating 30 continuing care beds as a single, stand alone service at Blawarthill following the collapse of the redevelopment plans was not clinically appropriate
• That there is a very limited prospect of accessing the capital monies required to bring the Blawarthill site up to an appropriate standard
• That there are beds available at Drumchapel Hospital, also in the West of the city, that would offer a short-term improvement in the quality of accommodation and facilities whilst longer-term planning on a final configuration of West Glasgow continuing care provision takes place.
Catriona Renfrew, NHSGGC Director of Corporate Planning and Policy, said: “It was extremely disappointing when we were notified earlier this year that the contractor was unable to fulfil the terms of the contract to deliver the redeveloped BH site as a campus for a full range of older people’s services. The key driver for NHSGGC behind this innovative scheme was to replace out of date hospital accommodation for elderly patients in the west of Glasgow.
“During the review process it was generally accepted that the option of retaining the status quo is not viable given the condition of the site infrastructure and facilities at Blawarthill. It was also our conclusion that a new build facility on the site to cater solely for a reducing number of continuing care beds is not likely to be appropriate.
Having looked at all possible options it is our view that the best solution to offer our elderly patients an improved standard of accommodation and co-location with other key multi-disciplinary clinical services is to move these beds into vacant facilities at Drumchapel Hospital whilst giving us time to carefully consider the long-term configuration of continuing care services for the elderly in the West of the City.
“Whilst we have concluded that the site does not appear to have a future for NHS continuing care our preference remains that the site is redeveloped for care services if that is possible. we are continuing with positive discussion with Glasgow City Council about the potential sue of the site to build a 120 bed care home which they have planned for West Glasgow and we have also reaffirmed our commitment to the Yoker Housing Association development.”
NHSGGC will now agree the required further process with the Scottish Government to test these conclusions and a proposed move of the ward to Drumchapel Hospital in a formal public consultation.
The eventual outcome of this process will not affect the national Scottish NHS policy which guarantees no compulsory redundancies for NHS staff.
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