NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde today reiterated its continued support and funding for the hospice service at St Margaret’s and outlined the position regarding the separate elderly care services which St Margaret’s provides on its behalf.
Tom Divers, Chief Executive of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “We support the hospice service which St Margaret’s provides for terminally ill patients and are committed to continuing to fund this facility. The Health Board is the biggest funder of the hospice service as we provide almost £1million of funding every year. There are no plans to cut our funding for this service or close any of the hospice beds for terminally ill patients.”
In addition to funding the hospice service, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde also pays St Margaret’s £1.2million every year to provide 30 long-term NHS elderly care beds. Anne Harkness, Director of Rehabilitation and Assessment Services for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “We want to keep elderly care beds at St Margaret’s but use them in a different way to meet the changing needs of our older population and ensure we are able to provide the range of services they require.
She explained: “Our analysis of patient need shows that in the future there will be more demand for nursing and residential services and less for long-term NHS elderly care. We therefore need to adapt our existing elderly care services and develop a wider range of alternatives to long term NHS care.”
These changes are not being made to save money and St Margaret’s would be fully funded for any alternative elderly care services they provide. There are no plans to divert funding from St Margaret’s to a private healthcare provider or cut services to fund the development of Blawarthill Hospital.
We have already worked successfully in Greater Glasgow with a number of other providers of long-term NHS elderly care beds to change and adapt their services, in line with national policy and future local needs. Regrettably, St Margaret’s has so far refused to consider any of the alternative options, despite the fact that there is a shortage of nursing and residential care services in the West of City.
Blawarthill Hospital is not a private healthcare facility - only the new building will be provided by a private company and the patients in the NHS elderly care beds will continue to be cared for by NHS doctors, nurses and support staff, including cleaners and porters. The development of the new facility is not dependent on any funding being released from St Margaret’s Hospice.
Notes to Editors