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NHS Lanarkshire launch review into more effective care for older people in Cumbernauld

Written by Calvin Brown.
Published at 13:18 GMT on Sunday, July 7th, 2013.

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Proposals are being developed to provide more effective care for older people in Cumbernauld.

A review is underway in Cumbernauld as part of Reshaping For Older People’s Care – a national programme to improve the way in which care is delivered and increase support for carers.

The aim of the programme is to improve independence for older people, providing more care at home or in homely settings and preventing lengthy, unnecessary stays in hospital.

Reshaping Care For Older People is already leading to new initiatives and additional services in Cumbernauld such as the Age Specialist Service Emergency Team (ASSET).

ASSET provides the same short term care as a hospital, but in people’s own homes giving them direct access to consultants in medicine for older people, specialist nurses and allied health professionals.

As part of Reshaping Care For Older People, NHS Lanarkshire is reviewing the provision of continuing and intermediate care services in Cumbernauld. This is currently provided through a contract with Carrickstone Care Home for 35 beds, which runs until 31 March 2014.

Four Seasons provide the facilities, nursing, administrative and hotel services staff, with NHS Lanarkshire providing the medical input, both consultant and GP, and some input from allied health professionals.

Of these beds, 15 currently provide continuing care. This is for a small proportion of people with complicated nursing and medical needs who require specialist on-going healthcare. Eligibility for NHS continuing care is based on the individual patient’s assessed health care needs.

The other 20 intermediate care beds provide care and rehabilitation for a shorter period of time, usually after transfer from an acute hospital such as Monklands. The needs of the patient are regularly reviewed and at the end of the review period they are either assessed as suitable for discharge from NHS care, or eligible for NHS continuing care.

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Alan Lawrie, Director of Acute Services, NHS Lanarkshire, said: “Older people tell us wherever possible they would prefer to remain in their own homes with support if they are unable to look after themselves. Reshaping Care For Older People is about achieving this by providing innovative local services in partnership with social care services, care homes and the voluntary sector.

“As a result of additional services being provided through Reshaping Care For Older People fewer older people from Cumbernauld are being admitted to an acute hospital. They are therefore fewer people requiring the kind of beds this contract provides at Carrickstone Care Home.

“We are committed to ensuring older people in Cumbernauld receive the best and most appropriate care. We are reviewing continuing and intermediate care services in order to ensure the most effective provision locally.”

A review group has been established which includes public representatives from the North Lanarkshire Public Partnership Forum, consultants in medicine for older people, other health staff and social care staff.

The group has identified that intermediate care would be best provided in people’s own homes and community instead of at Carrickstone, with the input currently provided by consultants and allied health professionals transferred to this new approach.

This will build on the work underway in Cumbernauld through the Community Assessment and Rehabilitation Service (CARS) which provides rehabilitation to patients in their own homes. The service has already been expanded as part of Reshaping Care for Older People to provide more physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

Dr Graham Ellis, Deputy Clinical Director – Older People, NHS Lanarkshire, said: “What we are trying to do is create more services around what patients need and want, moving away from thinking about buildings and hospitals to centering services on individuals.

“Through services such as ASSET and CARS, we are striving to deliver a 21st Century approach to care. Patients have access to the same care they would traditionally have received in hospital delivered by the same consultants and specialist health staff, but in their own home, which is more convenient and supports their recovery.”

Previously, an older person from Cumbernauld whose health deteriorated may have been admitted to Monklands Hospital before being transferred to Carrickstone. After a period of rehabilitation, they would have been discharged home.

New services mean that older people now have the opportunity to first avoid admission to hospital, and then receive the rehabilitation they need at home. Admission to hospital will also continue to be available for those patients who need it.

The review group agreed that 10 continuing care beds would need to be retained to meet patients’ needs in the Cumbernauld area. Further work will be carried out by the group to consider the best way to provide these in Cumbernauld.

Additional communication and engagement is also taking place with patient, relatives, GPs, North Lanarkshire Public Partnership Forum and other stakeholders.

The public’s views are also being sought on the North Lanarkshire Joint Strategic Commissioning Plan 2013-2023, which is part of the Reshaping Care for Older People strategy.

The plan sets out the vision, goals and objectives to make North Lanarkshire a great place to live and grow old in - now and in the future

The plan which can be found, along with information leaflets, at  The consultation is open until 12 July.

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