Skye care home residents face mainland move
CONCERN is mounting on Skye over the lack of residential care for adults as another home is due to close within weeks.
The Haven on Uig is to close because of a lack of suitably-trained staff. Unless a solution can be found quickly, residents may have to leave Skye for similar provision because the island’s other few care homes are all full.
SOS NHS Skye has set up Facebook pages and petitions as part of its campaign to save services on the island. According to the group, the fact four care homes have closed in as many years has resulted in hardship, anxiety and horrendous journeys to Broadford and even Inverness through the night as patients are shipped off island for care far from loved ones.
Sarah Marshall from SOS NHS Skye told the Lochaber Times: ‘The majority of these people are elderly. Gaelic is their mother tongue so when you take them to the mainland they are away from family, routine and even any entertainment provided will not be what they are used to.
‘The Haven was helping with capacity and offering respite for carers, which is also so important, but because of privatisation and heavy regulation these places no longer become economically viable and the people in charge think it is no longer worth it.’
Skye MSP Kate Forbes raised the plight of The Haven in the Scottish Parliament chamber on March 30 as she questioned the minister for public health, Aileen Campbell, on how the Scottish Government supports residential care for older people in rural areas. Ms Campbell has offered to meet Ms Forbes to discuss the matter, which has been accepted by the representative for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch.
Ms Forbes said: ‘ The Haven has provided quality care for residents and I pay tribute to carers and staff. Across Skye, there is pressure on care beds for the elderly so this will exacerbate the situation. However, I’m determined to do everything I can to establish the best way forward for residents and their relatives.
‘I have met the director of adult care and others at NHS Highland and it’s helpful that the Scottish Government is willing to offer expertise on the best continuity of care for the residents. The ideal solution for current residents and the community is a local care home.’