23 May
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The West Lothian Integration Joint Board (IJB) approved a financial plan in March, which detailed the savings to be made and included budget measures in relation to community hospital provision and council care homes. A bed-based community health and social care stakeholder engagement on future options was launched and runs until 6th June 2023. A report including recommendations for delivery of savings in relation to community health and social care bed-based services will be presented to the next meeting of West Lothian IJB, on 27 June. Feedback from the stakeholder engagement process will form part of that report.

Council Executive has instructed the council's Chief Executive to write to the First Minister requesting an urgent meeting to include the Chair of the IJB and Trade Union representatives to discuss concerns and spending priorities. The council has also agreed to formally respond to the IJB's consultation.

Leader of West Lothian Council Lawrence Fitzpatrick said:

"We recognise the extremely serious budget difficulties faced by West Lothian Integration Joint Board and the public expressions of concern on its proposals for care home services and care at home services.

"The exorbitant sums of consultancy fees for National Care Service proposal and the anticipated set up costs could be better spent fully meeting the current demands for care provisions in our local communities and on improving a set of national standards to cover both public and providers of care. We are calling on the Scottish Government to abandon its Bill for National Care Service and provide sufficient levels of funding on an ongoing basis for the West Lothian IJB.

"It is also the case that the problems have been greatly exacerbated by the Scottish Government clawback of Covid 19 funding estimated to be over £10.6 million which were desperately needed for this essential public service for the West Lothian community, and we are calling for these funds to be returned to West Lothian."

In March the IJB agreed savings of over £900,000 in relation to council run care homes over the next three years, and agreed to review the options available that would achieve these financial savings whilst ensuring there is no overall reduction in bed provision in West Lothian. 

The IJB is inviting feedback on future options for delivering community bed-based services in West Lothian. The deadline for taking part is: 6 June 2023.