Ar­gyll MSP an­gered over part­ner­ship chief’s fail­ure to an­swer ques­tions

The Oban Times - - News -

AN MSP has ac­cused the boss of the newly-formed health and so­cial care or­gan­i­sa­tion in Ar­gyll and Bute of be­ing ‘skil­ful’ in not re­ply­ing to his ques­tions, writes Louise Glen.

The email spat comes af­ter Michael Rus­sell MSP asked Christina West, chief of­fi­cer at Ar­gyll and Bute Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship ( HSCP) to be ac­count­able to the pub­lic af­ter news that two care homes were marked for clo­sure be­fore the com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion was com­pleted.

Ms Christina West wrote to Mr Rus­sell last week.

She said: ‘ The HSCP have care­fully con­sid­ered the dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions to progress the ur­gent trans­forma­tion of health and so­cial care.

‘As part of pro­ceed­ing with the re­design of th­ese ser­vices, in line with na­tional pol­icy, the HSCP have di­rected that there will be full pub­lic in­volve­ment and en­gage­ment with users, stakeholders and the pub­lic as we progress im­ple­men­ta­tion of our new model over the next three years.

‘As stakeholders we will keep MSPs and elected mem­bers ap­praised of our process for in­volv­ing and engaging with the users of ser­vices and the pub­lic. This will in­clude meet­ings with those stakeholders and my of­fice will be in touch in due course.’

Mr Rus­sell said: ‘ I have the great­est of ad­mi­ra­tion for your skills and this is a skil­ful re­ply not least be­cause it an­swers ques­tions I didn’t ask, but in so do­ing fails to an­swer the ones I did.

‘ Your an­swer seems to im­ply that con­sul­ta­tion af­ter de­ci­sions are made will be the norm go­ing for­ward.’

Mr Rus­sell asked for the de­ci­sion to close Thom­son Court and Struan Lodge nurs­ing homes to be im­me­di­ately re­voked.

He con­tin­ues: ‘I am ask­ing the HSCP to re­view the gov­er­nance of the or­gan­i­sa­tion to en­sure that such a flawed process can­not be re­peated – in other words when closures de­ci­sions are made they are an­nounced as such and are pre­ceded by con­sul­ta­tion, not fol­lowed by con­sul­ta­tion.’

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