Residents act to address ‘crisis’ in Mull social care
RESIDENTS on the Isle of Mull are taking positive action to look after each other after a ‘crisis’ in healthcare saw a number of islanders stranded when they needed help to access services.
Mull Safe and Sound has been set up to provide help as well as a safe and nurturing place for people who feel socially isolated.
The group came together after realising there were a number of places on the island where people were falling through gaps in the services currently provided. A small team, contactable through Cathy Paton and Jill Kirkham and a Facebook page, has been set up to keep people informed about the group’s activities.
Councillor Mary-Jean Devon, volunteer Wilma De Ath and former Tobermory health centre nursing manager Chris Swinbanks met with The Oban
Times to explain how the voluntary scheme is going to work.
Mrs Devon said: ‘ This is payback time for the community. Safe and Sound Mull will try to address all those issues that at the moment are keeping people from getting out – or contributing to them feeling isolated in their own homes.’ Ms De Ath added: ‘We have all heard horror stories where the cost of using the ambulance to get people back and forward to the hospital for appointments can be upwards of £200.
‘There is not anyone on the island who can afford that high level of cost. We want to make sure that we are providing transport for people who need it.’
The group has also involved community pharmacist Julie Walker to support its work. Organisers say this move reinforces the group’s raison d’etre – that people on Mull are being well looked after.
The team is hoping to recruit more volunteers to meet the already high demand for its service.
The group also meets fortnightly on a Thursday between 2pm and 4pm in the community building at An Roth, Craignure.
For further details, email email@example.com or telephone Jill Kirkham on 07837 184068 or Cathy Paton on 01680 300001 or 07553 885442.
Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell has praised the news about Oban hospital being able to offer ultrasound scans for pregnant mothers in 2017.
Expectant mums currently have to travel to Glasgow in order to receive a scan, but a spokesman for Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership said that he expects the service to be available in Oban next spring.
Mr Russell said: ‘I think it’s great.
‘One of the constant complaints has been that expectant mothers, from Mull and the islands particularly, have to go all the way to Glasgow and that can be a two- or three- day trip.
‘That’s the type of thing I want to see happening and that I have been campaigning for over a long time. Where it is possible to have services at Oban, they should be there.’