The campaigners are now to meet Ministers to discuss the McClymont Care Home closure

McClymont HouseMcClymont House
McClymont House
Campaigners trying to save Lanarkshire Care Homes from closure are to meet Social Care Minister Maree Todd having written to the Scottish Health Minister, Neil Gray, to demand a meeting to discuss the future of the McLymont and Dewar House Care Homes in Lanark and Hamilton.

The meeting comes after the South Lanarkshire Integrated Joint Board’s (IJB) decision to ‘to reprovision residential care away from two care homes Dewar House and McClymont House’.

At the same meeting, the IJB also decided to send a letter to the Scottish Government calling for additional resources that would be used to keep the care homes open.

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The IJB letter to the Government, acknowledging they want to keep the homes open and asking the Government for additional resources so they can keep them open, offers a glimmer of hope to the campaigners that the homes could yet be saved.

The call for the government to financially intervene comes after a long and determined campaign by the families of residents, trades unions and the wider community and following a glowing report, commissioned by the IJB itself, that confirmed the high quality of care provided by the homes.

The families of residents are obviously very concerned about the impact of the closure on their loved ones, there are other concerns with unions worried about the impact on staff and the wider community who are worried about losing further quality care home provision in South Lanarkshire.

Emma Koubayssi, Granddaughter resident and Save McClymont Campaigner said: “We’re making an urgent plea to Maree Todd and Neil Gray for resolution and support. With McClymont House gone, the absence of a council-run care home in rural Clydesdale will devastate our community's wellbeing. We implore for swift action to safeguard the future of our vulnerable loved ones and preserve the fabric of our community."

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“We've fought tooth and nail to protect the sanctity of our loved ones' homes and we now find ourselves standing on the brink of exhaustion. The lack of reassurance from SLC regarding the future of the two remaining council-run care homes, in Rutherglen and East Kilbride and where they are signalling our families will go, plunges us into a state of concern. If they are moved, they could be evicted again and we all know that private care home provision is unreliable and precarious.”

Stephen Smellie, Unison Official said: The decision to close the two care homes will mean South Lanarkshire will have closed five council-run care homes in 5 years leaving only 3 remaining. During Covid, one of the closed care homes had to be re-opened to help cope with the crisis. That would not be possible should another crisis occur.

The decision to close McClymont is a particular tragedy. It is rated as one of the best in Scotland and is the only council care home in Clydesdale with the nearest alternative being at the other end of South Lanarkshire.

Therefore the future for people needing residential care will be in the hands of the profit-led private sector which relies on low-waged staff, struggles to recruit and retain those staff and that is notoriously unreliable. Councils regularly have to step in to find alternative accommodation for residents of care homes that go bust or where the often foreign-owned care companies decide that profit levels are not high enough. The residents and staff deserve better.

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Local Minister, the Rev Louise Mackay said: “McClymont House is a fundamental resource within the local community. It is beyond disappointing that South Lanarkshire Council are choosing to neglect the most vulnerable in our area. The beauty of McClymont House is that its residents are in a safe environment, cared for and looked after by the fantastic staff there and local families can visit easily, enjoying much valued time with their loved ones. This would be made much more difficult if not impossible if Mcclymont House were to close with the residents simply "relocated" elsewhere with little regard for their care and wellbeing.

“Alongside that McClymont House offers many job opportunities within the town of Lanark, Closure will mean these jobs moving elsewhere in the county, which impacts the local economy. This again has a detrimental impact on the wider community.”

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