Vulnerable people to benefit from joint NHS-council work on care home places

Both NHS Lothian and the City of Edinburgh Council are providing funds over the next two years to help ensure people can move on to more appropriate environments - either a care home or their own home with suitable adaptations - once their hospital treatment is complete.

The first of four jointly-provided homes, Marionville Court, opened in summer 2007 with the second at Craigmillar opening just before Christmas. A third is under construction at North Merchiston and a fourth is planned for the former Eastern General Hospital site.

John Matheson, Director of Finance, NHS Lothian, said:

"Edinburgh has a recognised issue with a shortage of care home beds. Working with the City of Edinburgh Council, we are increasing the number of care home beds and making it less likely that people will have to stay in hospital after their treatment is complete. "

He added:

"As part of this joint working, NHS Lothian will be making a capital grant of £3.7m in this financial year to the council to partially support construction costs for two new 60 bedded care homes at Craigmillar and North Merchiston. This will form part of a 2 year agreement which will see a further £4m transferred from NHS Lothian to the City of Edinburgh Council in 2008-9."

He added:

"This is an important part of our strategy to reduce the number of people kept in hospital because there is nowhere suitable for them to go once their treatment has been successfully concluded."

Councillor Paul Edie, convener for Health and Social Care, City of Edinburgh Council, said:

"I welcome the additional resources and am delighted to note that delayed discharges in the city in the December census were the second lowest in the last five years with just 67 delays. "The joint plan between the Council and NHS Lothian to provide additional Care Home capacity is clearly delivering the anticipated benefits in reducing discharge delays.
"The City of Edinburgh Council is making a significant investment in both the construction and ongoing running costs of the four new homes as part of its plans to improve services for older people across the City and I am pleased to support this additional investment and to note its beneficial impact on bed capacity in the NHS.
"The Council and NHS Lothian continue to work closely together with the shared aim of improving services for people in need and this a good example of how we are doing this."