£20m gap in fund­ing for Ar­gyll so­cial care

The Oban Times - - News -

AR­GYLL and Bute faces a £20 mil­lion bud­get gap in health and so­cial care over the next two years.

And Camp­bel­town’s Auchin­lee care home will need a fur­ther £ 300,000 to save it for a year, health of­fi­cials have re­ported.

The fig­ures were re­vealed as the body which man­ages the re­gion’s health and so­cial care ser­vices, the In­te­grated Joint Board (IJB) of the Ar­gyll and Bute Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship (HSCP), met last Wed­nes­day.

The IJB’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer, Caroline Whyte, dis­closed a bud­get gap of £11 mil­lion for 2017-18, and £9 mil­lion for 201819, and asked the IJB to ap­prove the pro­posed Qual­ity and Fi­nance Plan for 2017-19, which would de­liver sav­ings of £11.6 mil­lion in that pe­riod. She also pro­jected a year- end over­spend of £700,000 for 2016-17.

The IJB also dis­cussed a plan to save Auchin­lee care home from clos­ing for a year, which would re­quire £291,000.

In De­cem­ber, its owner CrossReach, a so­cial care char­ity linked to the Church of Scot­land and the HSCP, stated it was un­sus­tain­able due to six-fig­ure losses, in­clud­ing the high cost of re­cruit­ing agency work­ers to cover staff short­ages in a ru­ral area. An eleventh-hour re­prieve in mid-De­cem­ber post­poned a fi­nal de­ci­sion for three months, af­ter CrossReach and the HSCP agreed to share the losses.

At a crunch meet­ing at Kil­mory Cas­tle, Lochgilp­head, in Fe­bru­ary, the par­ties agreed ‘a tran­si­tional pe­riod was re­quired to de­velop a lo­cal al­ter­na­tive for the ex­ist­ing rel­a­tives and this should be in place by March 31, 2018’. They also agreed that ‘none of the ex­ist­ing res­i­dents, sub­ject to their in­di­vid­ual needs and client choice, should have their place­ments out­side Kin­tyre’.

The IJB’s March meet­ing agreed two pri­or­i­ties: that res­i­dents ‘will not be moved out of area un­less it is their wish’, and the HSCP would ‘do all it can to pro­tect the jobs and staff in the area’.

Lor­raine Pater­son, head of adult ser­vices (west), said £291,000 would be needed to sup­port CrossReach with op­er­at­ing costs un­til the end of March 2018, which could be funded ei­ther by ap­proach­ing Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil for a one- off pay­ment, or by adding it to the Qual­ity and Fi­nance Plan for 2017-18, which would re­quire sav­ings in other ser­vices.

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