Brand new 48-bed care facility in Midlothian will not be used

Wednesday November 22nd 2023

Normandy Court (Dalkeith)care facility

The 48 bed care facility in Normandy Court has been built on the site of the old Dalkeith High Schoo.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A new care facility for elderly Midlothian residents has been turned into social housing after health bosses withdrew support in a row over funding.

The 48-bed extra care units in the newly built Normandy House, Dalkeith, were part of a £17 million housing project at the former town high school site, and expected to provide additional support for its new residents.

Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) had begun the recruitment process for care workers for the site before the council announced plans to cut its budget by £1.3 million in February this year.

Now it has been confirmed that health bosses followed through on warnings they would be unable to provide care services at the home unless more money was provided and the council has been left having to find an alternative use for the building, which was built for them.

The extra care units would have provided elderly residents with their own self-contained flats with a bathroom, kitchen and lounge as well as a bedroom.

They would have had access to a restaurant, gym, hairdressers and communal areas as well as 24-hour round the clock care support staff.

It is understood developers were told to make changes to the layout of the facility before the keys were handed over to the council with communal kitchen and dining areas blocked off and rooms for health professionals now turned into admin offices for council staff.

A council spokesperson said Morag Barrow, chief officer of Midlothian Integration Joint Board (IJB) and joint HSCP director, had confirmed the extra care housing provision at the development was “on hold because of budget constraints, relating to a reduced budget allocation to the IJB from Midlothian Council”.

They said Ms Barrow had said that if more money is made available extra care services could be considered for the facility which is on Normandy Court in the future.

The spokesperson said: “In the meantime, the council will be letting 38 flats at Normandy Court, Dalkeith.

“The applicants will be chosen from its social housing awaiting list and be aged 55 years or above. Any tenant who has a care package at present, will have that move with them.”

If a tenant later needed care support that would be provided under the current model of care in place.

Midlothian Council reduced its annual funding for health and social care services by £1.3 million in its February budget as it looked to cut costs across the board.

The move stunned the IJB who claimed it was a‘last minute’ decision by the local authority.

They estimated the cost of providing care for the facility which was made up of 40 one-bed units and eight two bedroom bungalows at £647,000 annually.

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