West Lothian Council will pay more than £250,000 to provide extra community care beds this winter.
More care home beds are set to be bought to support West Lothian residents in need of care after leaving hospital.
Council executive approved plans to procure ten additional beds from Randolph Hill’s Kirk Lane Care Home in Livingston until March 2022.
Angela Gray, procurement manager, told a meeting of the executive the purchase of beds would cost £262,000 to cover their use between November 22 and the end of March.
The West Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership (WLCSP) works to ensure people leaving hospital have appropriate care, either at home or in a care setting.
There have been significant challenges with the supply of care at home support and care home beds across Scotland recently, because of issues such as Covid-19, staffing levels and capacity.
Recently opened Kirk Lane is the only care home in West Lothian with capacity to meet the required need, providing accommodation in a central location to support the care and rehabilitation of those who need it.
Councillor Frank Anderson asked why the beds should be concentrated on one care home when there was a need in other communities.
Robin Allen, senior manager for adult care, confirmed the care home in question was relatively new to the market and thus was the only one capable of supplying the bed space.
Every effort was met to accommodate the wishes of those being released from hospital, he added.
Lawrence Fitzpatrick, leader of West Lothian Council, said: “I’m pleased that we have agreed to procure additional care home beds in West Lothian to help support some of our most vulnerable residents.
“The period after hospital care can be critical to long-term recovery, and these additional beds will help us make sure that West Lothian residents can receive the care they need after leaving hospital.
“I’m sure everyone is aware of the huge challenges facing the health and care sector across Scotland, so it’s important we do all we can to secure the resources we need to meet these challenges here in West Lothian.”
Following council executive approval, it is hoped to conclude an agreement with owners Randolph Hill shortly, with all costs funded by additional money provided by the Scottish Government specifically for interim care.
By local democracy reporter Stuart Sommerville