Fears raised for Oban care home
on the Integrated Joint Board
EADER Glinn, north Argyll’s only authority-led nursing and care home, is ‘on a list’ for ‘discussions’ in regard to its future.
The news comes as the newly-formed NHS Highland and Argyll and Bute Council Integrated Joint Board for health and social care (IJB) decided to close two identically-run homes on Bute and in Dunoon.
Previous attempts by Argyll and Bute Council to close Eader Glinn were opposed by the community.
According to Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell, the recent closures in the south of Argyll held ‘flawed consul- tations’ and made decisions on stopping services at the homes long before the process had finished.
Mr Russell has criticised the newly-formed board saying the public has lost faith already and will not place its trust in the IJB.
He said: ‘Last Tuesday a member of [NHS Highland] staff admitted that the consultation process announced regarding these closures was a sham and confirmed that the decision to close had been made on June 22 before the process was even announced.’
In early July, The Oban Times asked for a copy of the minutes of the June IJB meeting. The newspaper was told minutes would not be available until August and was therefore unable to verify rumours on the closure decision. Mr Russell continued: ‘It is utterly unacceptable for an accountable public body to behave in this way. Consultation does not mean attempting to perpetrate a confidence trick on the community by using warm words to cover up actions which are strongly opposed by those to whom the body is accountable.
‘The IJB has got off to a very bad start and it bodes very ill for the delivery of vital health and community care services in our area.’
Mr Russell also demanded that the IJB ‘undertake a review to ensure that your governance is radically improved and confirm that there will be no repetition of such actions’.
An NHS Highland spokesman on behalf of the IJB, said in response: ‘The partnership is transforming services to meet the changing needs of communities across Argyll and Bute and we must also operate within the budget that is available.
‘We are working closely with service users, carers, staff and stakeholders so that we can continue to provide effective, safe, sustainable and patientfocused services.’
IJB incoming chairman Councillor Kieron Green said: ‘Consultation with service users, staff and communities is vital if we are to meet the needs of the people of Argyll and Bute.
‘I will continue to look carefully at the current redesigning of services. I cannot alter decisions already made, but it is im- portant any changes being made reflect all the information available. Steps must be taken now to ensure the public has the opportunity to comment on future proposals at the earliest possible stage.
‘Allowing people to receive the care they need in their own homes is a key priority nationally.
‘However, for some, residential care will still be the best option.
‘In Oban, our staff at Eader Glinn care home are doing fantastic work, but I would welcome suggestions for addressing the shortcomings of the existing buildings.’
Should Eader Glinn be closed? Stay connected by joining the conversation on The Oban Times’ Facebook page.
THE INTEGRATED Joint Board (IJB) of NHS Highland and Argyll and Bute Council has come into sharp focus this week after it made a decision to close down two nursing homes in Argyll.
But do people really know what it is? Niamh Adams McGilp took to the streets of Lochgilphead to find out if people were aware of the changes.
Asking whether people were aware of the what the IJB was and what they thought of it, Niamh also asked people what they thought was the biggest concern facing health at present. This is what they told us.
Patricia Watkins from Loch
gilphead didn’t know about the IJB, but thought it was a good idea to get folks together.
She said: ‘If they are all under one roof they’ll probably be able to communicate better.
‘ Waiting times are probably the biggest issue for me. You get good treatment but you could book in at the doctor and wait 35 minutes before they see you. You could be in the hospital at 10 and not be seen until 11. Just the delays really.
‘I can’t really complain.’
Shirley Nicolson, Lochgilp
head, knew what the IJB was and thought that ‘ them being together makes less room for a loss in communication’.
She said: ‘ I’d say the biggest issue at the moment is not having enough speciality nurses, if any.
‘ It’s not fair making elderly people travel to Glasgow to see a speciality nurse. There should be more employed here, maybe even a clinic.’
Avril Lockhart from Mid Ar
gyll didn’t know what the IJB was. She said: ‘ Hopefully they’ll be able to co- ordinate services better. Having worked in social services, I know what it’s like.
‘ Hopefully they’ll be able to manage spending budgets better if they’re working together.
‘ I’d say the main issue is lack of funding. There’s not enough services for the people that need them.’
Fiona Wallace, Lochgilphead, said: ‘In principle the idea works, but I think in practice it is going to take longer and be more complex than anticipated.
‘I can honestly say I have had no issues, no negative experiences with the current system.’