Councillor Sally Pattle is putting forward a motion to the full West Lothian Council next week, expressing great concern about the proposals by West Lothian Integration Joint Board on care homes and care at home. These include proposals to close four care homes in West Lothian - and of course in Linlithgow, St Michael’s Hospital was ‘temporarily’ closed in 2021 and remains shut to this day.
“It’s obvious that tough decisions need to be taken with regards to the future of care in West Lothian. Our population is expected to rise by 5.9% by 2028, the national average increase in Scotland is 1.8%. Further, West Lothian’s population of pensionable age residents is forecast to rise at twice the national rate.
“It is therefore difficult to understand how the IJB can realistically propose closing any care homes, or how they can justify keeping a valuable community resource like St Michael’s Hospital closed, when need for their services is only going to grow.”
We oppose closure
The West Lothian Liberal Democrats oppose the closure of any care homes, and we are calling for St Michael’s to be reopened as soon as is practically possible so it can resume providing much needed respite and palliative care for vulnerable patients.
While we welcome the Home First strategy, it cannot be forced through at the expense of providing quality bed-based care where that is the most appropriate option. What West Lothian residents deserve is a holistic strategy that ensures care for people at every stage of their lives, as well as easing pressure on the loved ones looking after them.
Please fill in the survey
The IJB are currently engaging with the public to gather their views on the future of bed-based care in the region. There is an online survey to fill in here.
“The closing date is 6th June,” says Sally. “I would urge everyone to fill this survey in and make their views known: there will be no chance to appeal any decision taken by the IJB after this date, so this is our chance to save St Michael’s Hospital, and the other facilities under threat.”
We need your thoughts
The motion will be discussed at the meeting on 30th May and Sally would love to hear from you if you have any personal stories or issues that you would like her to raise during the debate.
Please email her direct on firstname.lastname@example.org