The Lanark recreation field has been earmarked as the probable site for the planned new elderly care ‘hub’ for Clydesdale, largely designed to replace the defunct Lockhart Hospital (See Letters Page) and the apparently outdated McClymont House.
The council is creating its main hub for urban South Lanarkshire on the former site of a primary school in Blantyre which has, like Flush Park in Lanark, the economic advantage of already being in the council’s legal ownership.
Both buildings will be the among the first ‘bricks and mortar’ evidence of the new national policy of ‘care at home’ where possible of elderly and frail people; almost all the patients at the Blantyre hub will be short-stay, returning home for ongoing care there when they are fit and able. There will, it is understood, be some more provision for longer-stay patients at the Lanark hub.
Overseeing the new system will be the Care Partnership set up to allow the NHS and council to co-ordinate health and social services.
There had been hopes that Lanark’s Lockhart Hospital would have a role in the new system but it will be used as a base for mostly voluntary health promotion, principally by the Healthy Valleys body.
Hopes were held out by NHS Lanarkshire three years ago that ‘The Lockhart’ might re-open as a nurse-led hospital, there now being no GP cover available for the hospital; the proposal was aired at two large public meetings held in Lanark Memorial Hall but later dropped, this news being transmitted via a press release.
South Lanarkshire Director of Health and Social Care Val de Souza said this week: “Working together to develop the plans for Blantyre has given the personnel involved from Health and Social Care and Housing Resources experience that will be invaluable in bringing forward plans for the replacement of McClymont House with a new facility in Lanark.
“Having identified Flush Park as our preferred location for the Clydesdale Hub we are still in the early stages of developing more detailed proposals and while the Hub in Blantyre is a useful reference point it should be borne in mind that the Clydesdale Hub will be different in that it will incorporate intermediate care and long-term residential care.” The Flush Park site is still not a done deal as survey work is being carried out on the boggy playing field.