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