West Lothian HSCP launches public engagement consultation on Home First and Community Hospital Provision in West Lothian

Over the last 18 months, West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership has been undertaking a review of the number of community beds required now and in the future.

08 February
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This review is responding to changing needs, reducing bed occupancy, and greater ability to support people in their own home or other homely setting wherever possible.

Hospitals should not normally be places where people go to live, even people who have ongoing clinical needs; hospitals are places for people who need specialist short-term care. Changing demand for inpatient community hospital beds, combined with staffing pressures during the Covid-19 pandemic led to a decision being taken to close St Michael's Hospital temporarily. Since then, the health and social care partnership has been able to provide care for those who require community hospital services at the Tippethill community hospital site. 

Our strategic priority is to focus on preventing deterioration of health and well-being, promoting independence with support from families, carers, the wider community and services where appropriate within a person's home. This 'Home First 'approach is seeing a need for short-term community assessment beds to maintain independence and support recovery following illness. Elements of hospital care can also be provided in alternative, more homely settings rather than in a community hospital bed. We are also looking at how end of life care is provided.

Over the last 18 months demand for community hospital beds continues to reduce. It is recognised that demand during that time has been impacted by the pandemic, but we are looking at data before and after that period, as well as demographic projections, to inform decisions.  Based on what we know already about the changing ways in which care is delivered, it is likely that we will need fewer community hospital beds for people with needs which can only be met in a hospital setting. 

A public meeting was held on Tuesday 7th February 2023 at 7.00pm at Kirk Hall of St Michael's Parish Church, which launched the start of the early consultation process. Following on from the meeting last night, the West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership is inviting feedback from the local community on the ongoing closure of St Michael's Hospital and on its future in the context of the review of beds across West Lothian.

You are invited to complete the attached survey and return to Katy Street, West Lothian HSCP Communication and Engagement Lead by Wednesday 22 February 2023. 

A link to the survey can be found on Home First and Community Hospital Provision in West Lothian Public Engagement consultation (opens new window).

A paper copy can be requested by contacting:

Katy Street

West Lothian Communication and Engagement Lead
Livingston Civic Centre 
Howden South Road
EH54 6FF