Council makes ‘difficult decision’ to decommission Musselburgh care home

Council makes 'difficult decision' to decommission Musselburgh care home

East Lothian Council has decided to decommission Eskgreen Care Home in Musselburgh in light of a paper highlighting extensive refurbishment works required at the facility.

On 30 May 2022, the Care Inspectorate carried out a routine visit at Eskgreen Care Home. The resulting report was satisfied with the level and delivery of care provided and included praise from both residents and the Care Inspectorate alike for the standard of care experienced and witnessed.

The report, however, highlighted some significant concerns regarding the condition of Eskgreen’s building, and asked that an action plan be developed to outline a long-term provision of refurbishment upgrades across the home.

This was immediately actioned and a thorough assessment of the building was made to meet the Care Inspectorate’s requirements. The major renovation works required included significant upgrades to the fabric of the exterior of the building, the installation of new lift facilities, as well as extensive internal modifications, specifically to the residential floors to install en-suite facilities to each private room, which would in turn, reduce the overall capacity of the home.

As well as looking at refurbishment plans, options were considered to identify relocation proposals for Eskgreen residents within other care home facilities on either a temporary or permanent basis.  

Taking all factors into account, the options to refurbish Eskgreen or identify alternative residential accommodation were submitted to elected members for formal consideration and agreement at a council meeting on Tuesday 13 December 2022.  The primary objective was to identify a solution that would guarantee the safety, security and wellbeing of all residents and staff, in line with Care Inspectorate’s standards in the short, medium and long-term.

Given the heightened sensitivity, the council said this was not a decision taken lightly. Substantial consideration was given to the implication such either option would have on residents, their families and staff members. Ultimately, it was unanimously agreed by those present, that the option that would provide the best level of long-term care, would be to permanently relocate residents to existing care home facilities, and decommission Eskgreen as a care home facility.

Cabinet spokesperson for health and social care, Councillor Shamin Akhtar, said: “Our priority in considering this matter is the health and wellbeing of residents currently residing at Eskgreen. It is clear that residents receive a very good standard of care but that the building would require significant attention. The nature of the works required would be very challenging and, after careful consideration of this very important and sensitive matter, it was concluded that the relocation of residents to other care home facilities was the best future option.

“Supporting residents and their families at this time will be a key priority for our staff teams, and I am hugely grateful to them for their hard work.”

Fiona Wilson, chief officer of Health & Social Care Partnership, said: “We are very aware of the impact a change of this nature may have on our residents, their families and our colleagues. They have each received our commitment that the level of care provided will not be compromised, and we will do our utmost to engage and explain all the steps of this process, to make this transition as smooth as possible for all involved.

“Residents, their relatives and the staff at Eskgreen have been informed of the decision, and we are grateful for their understanding and support. We will continue to engage closely to ensure they are kept up-to-date and have the opportunity to have any questions answered.”

For now, all residents and staff will remain at Eskgreen. A timeline of January to March 2023, has been set aside to organise a series of discussions and meetings on both a collective and one-to-one basis to provide further information to residents and their family members, as well as members of staff about the relocation process. 

There is currently sufficient provision to accommodate residents within alternative care facilities. Likewise, there are vacancies across social care services meaning that there are redeployment options for Eskgreen employees.

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