Falkirk Council-run Grangemouth care home is to be turned into rehab centre

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
A Falkirk council-run care home is set to become a “homely” setting for people who need rehabilitation following time in hospital.

The changes to Cunningham House, Grangemouth, are intended to reduce the number of people who are stuck in hospital when they don’t need clinical care and give them support that will allow them to move back home eventually. Not only will this be better for patients, it will free up vital beds in Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert and in Bo’ness community hospital.

Members of Falkirk’s Integration Joint Board (IJB), which oversees health and social care services locally, heard on Friday that Cunningham House in Grangemouth is ready to make the change. This follows consultation with staff, residents and their families, councillors and trade unions.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Members heard that most responses had been positive and many family members welcomed the new facilities. Some were were worried about what it would mean for the current residents but were reassured that they will not be moved.

Cunningham House in GrangemouthCunningham House in Grangemouth
Cunningham House in Grangemouth

Gail Woodcock, head of integration, said: “I think it’s really important to recognise that for the people in Cunningham House, that is their home and there’s no proposal that would disrupt that arrangement. People will continue to live in Cunningham House for as long as they need that provision.”

Some families were also anxious that the home would become too clinical with the new services in place. Ms Woodcock said: “The whole purpose of using a care home environment is the homeliness that it creates and for people who don’t need clinical care, that’s better than receiving rehabilitation in a hospital environment.”

She stressed that the transition “will be handled sensitively” and current staff will not be moved. “The staff who work at Cunningham House are really good and they’ve got really good relationships with the residents and their families and we expect those relationships will continue to be really good as we transition,” she said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The only changes to staffing will be recruiting new support staff, including Allied Health Professionals. Ms Woodcock also pledged that when filling any vacancies, consideration would be given to the setting and the people living there.

IJB members heard that the change was urgently needed as a previous report revealed that Falkirk had a much lower proportion of intermediate care than other areas. But the report also noted that it will reduce the number of long-term places available for people with dementia in Falkirk.

The average occupancy in Cunningham House over the last year is 78 per cent, equivalent to 15.6 beds occupied. To make up for this, the IJB plans include bringing back into use two bedrooms in Burnbrae Care Home. Additional 16-20 long-term beds will be commissioned within non-council care homes, to ensure that there is no additional unmet demand as a result of the transition.

In the long-term it is hoped that the redevelopment of Falkirk Community Hospital will include a bedded care facility.

Funding will be from a budget that was freed up when four wards in Falkirk Community Hospital were forced to close due to fire safety issues.