100 peo­ple on Mull show sup­port for Glen Iosal

The Oban Times - - News - DAVID MCPHEE dm­cphee@oban­times.co.uk

AROUND 100 peo­ple on Tober­mory gath­ered at a care home to protest against cuts to its war­den pro­vi­sion.

The con­cerned islanders ral­lied out­side Glen Iosal as se­nior man­agers from Argyll and Bute Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship (HSCP) and the Trust Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion met res­i­dents liv­ing in the shel­tered hous­ing com­plex and their fam­i­lies.

The HSCP is look­ing to with­draw fund­ing from the Trust Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, the or­gan­i­sa­tion that runs the care home. This will re­sult in war­den sup­port at the 25-flat com­plex be­ing cut from 35 hours to 25.

A pe­ti­tion ask­ing for the de­ci­sion to be re­versed has been signed by 780 peo­ple. It states that so­cial work does not have the staff to pick up the short­fall.

‘The main point seems to be that this does not seem like a con­sul­ta­tion – it feels like a done deal,’ said Katharine El­wis, who started the pe­ti­tion.

‘ We feel we are not be­ing con­sulted, we are be­ing told, and no mat­ter what we say about the im­pact of the de­ci­sion, it is not go­ing to change their mind.

‘We wish an im­pact as­sess­ment had been done be­fore the de­ci­sion was made and this should have been done by the board.

‘A lot of the el­derly peo­ple were as­sum­ing they could come here when in­de­pen­dent liv­ing gets too much for them.

‘Anx­i­ety lev­els have gone up and res­i­dents here are al­ready vul­ner­a­ble and the stress they have been put un­der is un­for­giv­able. It’s been han­dled badly, con­sid­er­ing peo­ple are vul­ner­a­ble here. The sup­port from the com­mu­nity has shown the res­i­dents they are not alone and ev­ery­one cares about Glen Iosal.’

Shaun David­son, the HSCP’s lo­cal area man­ager on Mull, said: ‘The idea is to bring the Trust Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion ser­vices, the last of the war­den-type old hous­ing sup­port ser­vice con­tracts, in line with the rest of shel­tered hous­ing pro­vi­sion in Argyll and Bute.

‘How­ever, while ev­ery­one is try­ing hard to make the best use of re­duc­ing bud­gets and to iden­tify so­lu­tions, we are, of course, aware that ev­ery com­plex is unique.

‘So be­fore we make any chang- es, we will con­duct a full con­sul­ta­tion process to en­sure that all the res­i­dents’ in­di­vid­ual needs and re­quire­ments are met.

‘If any res­i­dent feels that they need per­sonal care, we will re­fer them to a so­cial care worker and an as­sess­ment will be car­ried out to see if they meet the cri­te­ria to ac­cess our care at home ser­vices.’

Coun­cil­lor for Oban South and the Isles Mary Jean-Devon said: ‘I am wor­ried. We have been try­ing for five or six years to get home car­ers on Mull. Peo­ple have had to be moved off the is­land. One size does not fit all.’

Coun­cil­lor Devon said it would cost more money to pay ad­di­tional car­ers than it would to keep the war­dens’ hours as they are.

She added: ‘We have to fight it. I would like the sta­tus quo to re­main. If not, peo­ple won’t have the peace of mind that they have now – that’s some­one to stroke their hand and wait with them while the am­bu­lance comes.’

A 75-year- old Glen Iosal res­i­dent, who asked not to be named, said: ‘I am ab­so­lutely anx­ious, the same as ev­ery­one else here.

‘It is a ridicu­lous sit­u­a­tion. We have tried to ex­plain to all the pow­ers-that-be that we are not go­ing to save money here, we al­ready have the per­fect set up as an is­land.’

Dozens of peo­ple protest against cuts in war­dens’ hours. One, left, car­ried a sign that reads: ‘Keep Glen Iosal as car­ing sup­ported liv­ing.’

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