‘No threat’ to Strathcarron funding says NHS Lanarkshire

Strathcarron Hospice.
Strathcarron Hospice.

Under-fire NHS Lanarkshire has issued an upbeat assessment of local hospice services, arguing there is “no threat” to funding for Strathcarron Hospice.

But it places heavy emphasis on an evolving strategy aimed at enabling end of life care at home, said to be the preference of local people in areas like Cumbernauld.

NHS Lanarkshire says it is committed to a strong relationship to Strathcarron “as long as demand for the service continues”.

Strathcarron Hospice, which issued a statement yesterday, has left no doubt it considers the way NHS Lanarkshire has approached funding issues poses a potential problem after 2020.

Meanwhile Denny woman Dr Emma McPherson, a GP who practises in Cumbernauld, has notched up thousands of signatures on a petition aimed at “saving Strathcarron Hospice”.

Today, despite the Bank Holiday, Colin Lauder, NHS Lanarkshire’s director of planning, property and performance, responded to our request for comment.

He said: “Funding for Strathcarron Hospice was confirmed earlier this year by Health and Social Care North Lanarkshire and is not under threat.

“The North Lanarkshire Integrated Joint Board remains committed to maintaining a strong relationship with Strathcarron Hospice, as long as demand for the service continues.

“Awarding the contract on a yearly basis has been the normal process across all hospice providers in Lanarkshire for a significant number of years.

“Any move to a multi-year contract would mean tendering on the open market.

“A pan-Lanarkshire model for Palliative Care Services and specialist hospice provision was agreed by both North and South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnerships in December 2017.

“The model reflects the preferences of local people, expressed during a review of Palliative Care Services, which included stakeholder involvement, to receive end of life care in their own home as far as possible.

“This means community nursing and home care staff, supported by respective specialist clinical staff, working in an integrated 24/7 way to provide palliative and end of life care and support to people in their own homes or in a homely setting.”