£20m gap in funding for Argyll social care
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.